- Rose pruning -is a top priority this month! Make your appointment today for rose pruning tutoring or have Mary prune roses for you. You can find several rose pruning videos on The Gardening Tutor Vimeo Channel and YouTube. Watch our Rose Pruning Playlist on YouTube.
- General Pruning - Do you have Citrus Trees? Save any pruning for after the frost season is passed (in Sonoma County Ca-frost season is generally from the end of October all the way until mid April or beginning of May).Leaving some extra foliage on citrus now will help protect plants from frost damage. If plants do get frost burn, leave the burnt leaves on to protect the stems and clean up in April. Continue pruning dormant Fruit Trees such as Apple and pears. For Persimmons and Figs - Other than to clear out crossing, dead, damaged or diseased areas, Persimmons and Figs generally do not need much pruning. Save pruning of the fungal disease susceptible stone fruits (peach, nectarine, cherry etc.) until late spring during window of dry weather. Avoid pruning Lilac, Forsythia, Rhododendron, Azalea, and other plants that bloom in early spring. Pruning spring flowering plants now means little or no flowers until next year (except Wisteria-prune now). Avoid cutting back damaged plant parts from frost damaged plants. It is best to leave the more frost tender plants such as Lantana, Citrus, and Salvias alone until just before new growth starts in springtime.
- Pest Management - In order to kill overwintering pests and fungal spores it’s time to dormant oil spray roses and dormant fruit trees. There are many products from which to choose; Mary uses Neem oil on her roses. If your rose has not dropped all its leaves, remove all the leaves before you prune and spray (for huge roses this is not practical). Spray the soil under and around your plant too in order to smother overwintering insects and fungal spores hiding in and on the soil. Continue to protect little sweet pea plants from pests like slugs, snails, earwigs, cutworms, and sowbugs. You can still plant Sweet Pea plants if you missed planting in November.
- Mulching - If you are not using your raised vegetable beds this winter, protect the soil with a nice three to four inch layer of compost mulch.
- Bareroot Plants - When planting bare-root plants: soak the roots in a bucket of water for a few hours before planting to hydrate them unless they are already wet from rains. Avoid leaving them in the bucket for a long time.
- Weeds - You can still plant wildflower seeds. Make sure to first clear all weeds from the planting area. Weeds are the worst competition for Wildflowers. Staying ahead of weeding in winter also makes gardening in spring less of a chore. Let soil drain well between rain showers so as not to weed and walk in mud. Watch The Gardening Tutor Weed Management Video for tips on keeping weeds from taking over.
- Support your locally owned nurseries so we can keep diversity in what is offered! Grab a hot beverage and head on out to your locally owned nursery to see what's in bloom at this time of year. You’ll be surprised!
Follow The Gardening Tutor on Instagram, Vimeo, Pinterest and Facebook. The Gardening Tutor How-To Videos are still on YouTube but you can watch our Gardening Videos Ad-Free on our Vimeo Channel. Thanks so much!
Subscribe to The Gardening Tutor's Newsletter on our homepage so you'll know when the tips post. It's FREE! Plus, You'll Get Extra Tips for Subscribers Only.