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Mike's Mini-Garden Calendar

December

December can still be a time for planting trees and shrubs. Dig a hole thatís about three times the width of the root ball. Break up the soil and add some organic matter. Spread the roots of the plant and leave a few inches of the root ball above ground level. More if the plant needs excellent drainage. Keep the old and new trees and shrubs watered. Itís ok for minor pruning of your evergreens especially if you want to use them as decorations. You can also prune dead or damaged material out of shrubs and trees in December.

December brings the Christmas season, poinsettias and Christmas trees. Pick out the freshest tree you can find. Shake it to see if needles fall off. Cut an inch or so off the trunk and place in a stand filled with hot water. This will allow the tree to soak up a lot of water initially. Check the water level often during the holiday. When you buy a poinsettia, make sure itís covered when carrying it outdoors. These plants are very susceptible to cold damage. Find a place in your house that has plenty of light, no drafts and temperatures in the 60 to 70 degree range. Just like other houseplants, poinsettias should not be over watered. Add water when the soil feels dry and donít let the plant sit in water.

You may be able to sod cool season grass can be planted depending on the soil temperatures. Keep broad leaf weeds in check with herbicides containing 2-4-D. Donít leave gas in the lawn mower if you are through cutting for the season. Fertilize your cool season lawn early in the month if you didnít around Thanksgiving. Warm season grasses should be left to go dormant.

It is not too late to plant spring flowering bulbs.

Cut roses canes back to about waist high if you have not completed previously. This will help roots stay in place if plants are blown around by winter winds.


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