WINTER GARDEN TIPS
Pruned Ginger Lily with new growth due to recent warm temperatures and rain. Plants know what to do and should survive recent weather tricks.
November and December temperatures have been unseasonably warm! We hope the first day of Winter on December 22nd will remind nature to get back on track. For
the landscape, winter is a time to clean up, plant and transplant trees and shrubs, and prune or cut back many types of plants. Brown, dead stems and leaves of perennials and ornamental grasses should be cut down before new growth begins. Trimming back perennials and grasses can be done anytime during winter, but should be completed by early March since new leaves often begin to emerge as spring approaches.
Most leaves are down by now and have been removed from your turf.
Once excess leaf debris has been cleared from plant beds, it is a good time to replenish your mulch. Did you know that mulch will increase the soil temperatures around your plants by at least 10 degrees? Popular mulches include pine needles, pine bark, and shredded pine or double hammered hardwood.
Derek Kelly is scheduling the 2016 seasonal application and taking seasonal mulching orders. If you have questions about this service, email
or call 704-335-3775.
In January, we place orders for spring plants. Orders have to be placed early with our vendors to guarantee plant selection and quantities. A flower notice will arrive after the holidays so we hope you will have more time to sit back and relax while reviewing your choices.
Cold temperatures certainly reduce the desire to garden, but don't completely abandon your plants. Many trees, evergreens and newly planted shrubs still require a little extra water in the winter months. December was a wet month, but if January hasn't seen significant moisture for two weeks, it may be time to check. Feel the soil to detect the moisture level. Do not rely on the plant leaves for signs. Evergreens such as Rhododendron will curl in response to cold, but that doesn't necessarily reflect a lack of water! If the soil feels dry, do your plants a favor and water.
- Houseplants need less care this time of year: be careful to not overwater and cut down on fertilization.
- Roses: leave the last blossoms to form seedpods. This helps the plants into dormancy. After the first good freeze, cut back the canes and cover with mulch or topsoil. This will protect the plants through the winter.
- Multi-stemmed evergreens, such as Arborvitae or upright Junipers can be tied up to prevent snow and ice from causing the plant to split.
Winter is predicted to be colder and rainier than normal, with below-normal snowfall. But we know that we will have to wait and see. Some February garden tasks, though, can be predicted:
- Deciduous shrubs and trees are still dormant enough to transplant this month. Once the buds have begun to swell, it will be to late.Mid to late February is the time to fertilize shrubs and evergreens.
- In the event of snow, be sure to shake or brush off the white stuff from the branches of your evergreens and shrubs.
- Plant Daylilies, Bleeding Hearts, and Hostas this month.
- Deciduous vines such as Honeysuckle should be pruned for shape.
- Most perennials can be divided and moved up until the time they begin to show new growth.
- Check your over-wintered plants such as Fuchsias and Geraniums and, if they are shriveled, water them lightly.
- Stored summer flowering bulbs may try to start into growth if they are subjected to heat.They should be kept very dry, and stored at 45° F. If they are shriveling, put them into slightly damp peat moss, but keep them cool!