By Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, on December 1st, 2018
- When shopping for a fresh-cut Christmas tree, check for green, flexible, firmly held needles and a sticky trunk base — both indicators of freshness. Make a fresh cut and keep the cut end under water at all times.
- Evergreens can be trimmed gently for indoor holiday decorations.
- Houseplants usually require less water and fertilizer during the winter, but they need more light. Move plants closer to windows (but not touching glass) when days are gray.
- Store lawn and garden products in a cool, dry place, protected from moisture and freezing, but away from heat.
- Prevent the bark from splitting on young, thin-barked trees, such as fruit and maple, by wrapping them with tree wrap, or paint them with white latex paint, especially the south and south-west sides.
- Protect broadleaves, evergreens or other tender landscape plants from excessive drying (desiccation) by winter sun and wind with canvas, burlap or polyethylene plastic screens on the south and west sides. Shields also may be used to protect plants from salt spray.
- Protect weak-stemmed shrubs from extensive snow loads by tying their stems together with twine. Carefully remove heavy snow loads with a broom so limbs don’t break.
- If needed, protect young plants, broadleaves and needle-bearing evergreens and other tender landscape plants from excessive drying from sun and wind by spraying with an antidesiccant when temperatures are above 40 degrees F. Always read and follow the label direction.
- Mulch tender plants with organic material when they become dormant.
Vegetables and Fruits
- Harvest root crops. Store in a cold location with high humidity.
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