Winter Gardening Tips
It seems that gardening is a year round activity. There is always
something to do. If you can’t think of any gardening tasks,
here are a few tips to get you thinking.
Snow on ice on trees and shrubs: As we get into winter, the threat
of damage from snow and ice is always near. When snow piles up on
evergreens, try to gently brush it off. Don’t shake the branches
as this may cause them to break. If the snow is frozen on the branch
and will not brush off easily, it is best to let it melt naturally,
to avoid damage to the tree or shrub.
If tree limbs break due to the weight of ice or snow, it is advisable
to have the broken limbs removed as soon as the weather permits.
Hanging branches can be a danger to passing pedestrians. Also, the
tree will be able to heal the wound better in spring, if the wound
has clean edges, instead of ragged tears.
Warm spells in winter: Sometimes in the middle of winter, we suddenly
get a few warm days. For the most part, this is not a big problem,
but you may need to check on a couple of things. If you covered
your roses with rose cones, you may need to ventilate the cone to
prevent heat from building up inside. The same should be done with
coldframes. If it is a warm, sunny day, the temperatures may be
rising in the cold frame more than you expect. Remember to close
vents as the temperature drops again at night.
Holiday plants: Turning to the indoor environment, we need to
keep our holiday plants fresh and blooming. Most of our blooming
holiday plants prefer to be in a cool room. This keeps the plant
in flower longer. Most holiday plants also need a bright room (some
do well with direct sun, others do not). Keep these plants out of
drafts to keep them in good health.
Seed orders: If you order seeds from catalog, get your order in
early. Early orders help insure that you get the seeds you want
and that you have them in time to start them indoors if you want
Nuisance insects: It is very common to find insects meandering around
the house in winter. All kinds of critters come into the house looking
for a place to rest for the winter. Common nuisance pests are boxelder
bugs, house flies, squash bugs and the multicolored Asian ladybeetles.
As you encounter nuisance insects, just vacuum them up. Avoid smashing
them as some leave stains or odors when smashed.
Don’t store firewood in the house. Insects can come in with
firewood. Leave the wood outside until you are ready to build a
fire. Firewood should never be treated with insecticides and insecticides
are not needed for most home invaders.