A devoted gardener would rather give or receive tools, plants, or a unique garden treasure than gold, diamonds or pearls.

Tasks: 

   • Remove fallen camellia blossoms promptly to prevent petal blight on next year’s flowers.

   • Mistletoe is very difficult to control because reinfestation occurs from nearby infected trees. An infected branch must be removed at its points of origin and at least 1 foot below the cluster.

Pruning: 

   • Wait to prune spring‐flowering plants until after bloom — deciduous magnolias, spiraea, azaleas and camellias.

   • Do not apply any treatments to pruning cuts or other wounds because these materials are ineffective and often are detrimental.

Fertilizing: 

   • No fertilization is recommended this month.

Planting: 

   • Bare root plants started now, while they are dormant, will have the full advantage of the spring growing season and will be well established during the coming year.

   • Bulbs, corms, tubers: cyclamen, dahlia.

   • Fruits and vegetables: bare root cane berries, garlic, leek

Enjoy now:

   • Annuals and perennials: dianthus, poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), toadflax (Linaria maroccana), stock (Matthiola).

   • Bulbs, corms, tubers: snowdrop (Galanthus), narcissus.

   • Trees, shrubs, vines: camellia, Hawthorne (Crataegus).

   • Fruits and vegetables: avocado, grapefruit, kumquat, pomegranates.

Things to ponder: 

   • Look through garden books for ideas using drought tolerant or water-wise plants.

   • Avoid overhead watering if frost is expected.

Source: Adapted from “A Gardener’s Companion for the Central San Joaquin Valley,” 3rd edition, currently available from Fresno County Master Gardeners for $30. Gardening Questions answered at mgfresno@ucdavis.edu. Prepared by Judy Parker, Master Gardener UCCE Fresno County.

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