Happy New Year! I trust you are having a great new year and you’ve started creating your New Year Resolutions. Why don’t you add “making your landscaping a priority” to your resolutions list?
Here are some tips and to dos to take care of your landscapes and gardens.
- Browse through the many different seed catalogues, compare varieties and try not to get carried away.
- Figure out what your family eats the most from the store, make lists of your most purchased produce and use this to help figure out what to grow.
- Plan and design your garden. Make sure that your crops are adequately rotated from the previous growing season.
- Start your onions, celery, celeriac, leeks and slow-growing herbs like rosemary and sage at the end of the month.
- Start a frozen compost pile. For tips on how to do this, see our article: Five Tips for Winter Composting. http://www.yardproduct.com/blog/5-tips-for-winter-composting/
- Be careful when spreading salt to melt the ice on walks and driveways to avoid damaging nearby shrubs. Consider using sand or sawdust instead.
- Brush the snow from evergreens as soon as you can after a storm. When using a broom, brush in an upward sweeping motion. Serious damage may be caused by heavy snow or ice accumulating on the branches.
- When pruning large limbs, always undercut first. To do this, cut from the bottom up, one-third of the way through the limb, then finish by cutting from the top. The undercut keeps the limb from splitting and breaking off, which could damage the trunk and become an entryway for insects and diseases. Make sure to not cut flush to the trunk, the collar or the enlarged base of a branch as it produces hormones that help heal wounds.
- To create easier lawn maintenance, eliminate the hard to mow spaces. To do this, you need to eliminate acute angles in beads and borders. Combine single trees or shrubs into a large group that is connected with ground cover. Put the bird bath in your flowerbed or surround it with ground cover.
- Check your indoor plants closely for insect infestations. If you receive any plants as gifts, quarantine them until you are positive they are not harboring any pests.
- Your house plants and holiday plants should not be placed on top of your television (especially if you have a flat screen)! This location is too warm and in most houses, it is too far away from your windows to provide adequate light.
- During the winter, most houses are too dry for house plants. You can increase your humidity by placing plants on trays that are lined with pebbles and filled with water. If you heat your house with wood, keep a pot of water on the stove. The added moisture will make your home healthier for both you and your plants!
- If you have some extra down time this winter, paint the handles of your garden tools red or orange. This will help preserve the wood and make the tools easier to locate next summer when you lay them down in the garden or on the lawn.