• Evenly spread snow from walks, do not pile to prevent winter dieback. Use de-icers and other snow melt products sparingly to reduce injury.
• Avoid walking on frozen lawns. It may injure the grass.
• Use Ice Melt to melt away snow and ice without the harmful salts that damage shrubs.
• Time to mulch strawberry beds with a layer of straw for winter protection.
• Buy a houseplant for a special friend to help keep away the winter blues.
• Start planning for a spectacular spring on those cold winter nights.
• Gift Certificates are available for those special gardeners in your life.
• Join a Garden Club this year!
• Check your tools to be sure everything is sharp & oiled (use Pam cooking spray)
• Check the tires on wheelbarrows & maybe give it a fresh coat of paint.
• Once the weathers warms spray hort oil on fruit trees, raspberry canes and roses.
• Roses will benefit from a dose of lime sulfur at winter strength.
• Prune fruit trees.
• Do you have leaf piles from last fall? Mow over & chop into garden. Leaf mulch doesn’t freeze as solid as unmulched ground so earthworms will stay busy under the leaves.
• Water outside plants when temps are above 32!
• Wash pots & trays to get ready for seeding plants (hot soapy water and rinse with bleach solution and let dry.
• Start a cold frame, alfalfa hay & storm window on top! Mix some potting soil into the ground and sow lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes and salad greens. Keep a thermometer inside the cold frame and one outside. Open the cold frame a crack when day temps are over 40 degrees. Of course, be sure to close at night.
Vegetables and Fruits
• Pick up and discard fallen fruit before spring arrives.
• As nursery catalogs begin to arrive, look for plants with improved insect and disease resistance.
• Peruse seed catalogs and prepare your seed order.
• Things you can start: For spring flowers, get unplanted spring bulbs in the ground as soon as possible.
• Start seeds throughout the winter, depending on growing requirements.
• Water fall planted perennials to prevent dry soil conditions when tempatures are above 32.
• Watch for signs of frost heaving and cover tender roots.
• Replace mulch layers.
• Check bulbs in storage for rot and decay. Discard damaged ones.
• Curl up with a good book and learn more about gardening.
Trees and Shrubs
Snow and ice on limbs:
• Gently brush heavy snow from tree and shrub limbs to reduce damage.
• Allow ice to melt naturally from limbs. Do not use water to melt the ice or attempt to knock it off.
• Prune storm damaged limbs quickly to reduce damage and prevent tearing of the bark.
• Avoid the temptation to prune on warm winter day. You’ll prevent further damage.
• Bring twigs of flowering trees and shrubs indoors to force blossoms.
• Water fall planted trees and shrubs when soil is dry but not frozen.
• Watch out for rabbit damage to the bark of trees and shrubs.
• Clean and repair garden tools during the winter.
• Sand and seal tool handles to prevent splinters. Apply brightly colored paint to handles. It makes them easier to spot in the garden.
• Keep bird feeders and water supplies filled for the feathered friends.
• Evaluate the garden and make notes to assist in next year’s planning.
• Take photos of the garden and analyze for year-round interest.
This information is brought to you from Nadine Champlin, Designer, Grimms Gardens; and Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. http://www.johnson.ksu.edu/p.aspx?tabid=119