Extras - Frost Cloth, Wooden Clothes Pins (to hold frost cloth on plants), Dormant Spray Concentrate.
Ornamental poppies-plant 4 inch plants now or sow seeds. They will bloom in spring!
Tasks To Do
Pruning - Prune Wisteria vines. Shorten the laterals to two or three fat buds. Fruit Trees -Remove all the old fruit (called mummies) from fruit trees and all fallen fruit and leaves from under trees. Dormant prune apples and pears but leave stone fruits, such as peaches and nectarines for spring pruning on a sunny day. Flowering Magnolias are usually pruned in summer but might be easier to shape now while leafless. Shaping now will sacrifice some flowers in spring though. Japanese maples can also be shaped now-use mostly thinning cuts when shaping Japanese maples so they can keep their delicate looking form. Many cactus and succulents can be cleaned up and propagated at this time of year too! Watch The Gardening Tutor Video - How to Prune Phormiums.
Pest Management - Dormant spray for peach leaf curl three times during winter (Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine's Day before bud break). Dormant spray can be used for other deciduous plants, such as roses and fuchsia. Dormant sprays kill overwintering insect eggs as well as fungal spores. Wait until the plants have lost their leaves. If the plants still have a few leaves on them when you are ready to spray, remove the leaves before spraying. Remember to spray the soil underneath the plant too. Bait for snails, slugs, earwigs, and sowbugs in winter flowering beds. Removing fallen leaves from trees from cactusand other plants helps with pest management.
Watering- Remember to check plants that grow close to the house or out buildings. If the overhang keeps the rain from reaching these plants you will need to give them some winter irrigation.
Soil - Avoid working soil that is too wet from the rains. Wait a day or two after a rain to do weeding, bulb planting, or other tasks that disturb the soil. Keep winter soil from being compacted by using squares of cardboard or wood to stand on to disperse your weight.
Design Tip– Garden design starts inside the house. Windows are natural frames for the view of the garden. Look outside the window and envision the placement of a focal point plant. Flowering plants that compliment the colors inside the house can create the feeling of a larger room.