Experts are predicting a
slightly above average amount of rainfall in Southern California in January,
which means less watering and more growing for winter gardens.
Plant bare root fruit trees: Bare root fruit and nut trees are in abundance
at local nurseries in winter. Now is the time to plant these trees while they are
in a dormant phase. Plant apricot, plum, apple, pear and peach trees, and all
types of rose bushes. As a rule of thumb, you should dig a hole to plant your
tree that is twice as wide but no deeper than the root ball. Add organic
compost planting mix to the soil that came out of the hole (follow directions
on the label for amount of each) to increase soil aeration and to keep in
moisture. Make sure the top two inches of soil remains moist.
It's Pruning Season: Now is the time to prune your trees and shrubs—while
growth has slowed or even stopped. Some new buds sprout in winter so be careful
not to trim those. Rose bushes should get a significant trimming—as much as
eight inches. Pruning in winter stimulates healthy growth in spring.
Divide and Replant Perennials: Perennial plants are looking a little raggedy
in winter. It is good motivation to remove portions of these plants and replant
them. The existing plants will grow stronger and fuller while the newly planted
portions will quickly take root. Plants that can be divided include chrysanthemums,
Shasta, African and English daisies, delphiniums, dianthus, statice and violets.
Protect Plants From Frost: Many parts of
Southern California can experience below freezing temperatures in January.
Freezing temperatures are most common on dry, windless and cloud-free nights.
To help prevent frost damage, keep the soil around plants moist. Container
plants should be moved near walls to absorb radiant heat left over from a sunny
day. If frost damage does occur, do not remove dead leaves. These leaves will
protect the tree from further damage. Wait until new growth begins before removing
any dead vegetation.
Add Soil Amendments: Apply a layer of soil
amendment on the surface of your garden. Rain and the natural decaying process
will gradually introduce the amendments into the soil, creating a nutrient-rich
environment that will help when planting in spring.
Care For Poinsettias: Most people think
that once the holidays are over, poinsettias are over as well. With watering, poinsettias
will remain healthy into March. Once the leaves begin to droop, cut back the
stems so they are no more than eight inches in length. By June, new growth will
begin. Keep the plant indoors in indirect, natural sunlight and the soil
moderately moist. When the weather warms, bring the plant outside. Prune as
needed so the plant is bushy. Flowers will begin to grow in October and reach
their peak in November and December.
Labels: bare root fruit trees, care for poinsettias, protect plants from frost, Southern California, what to plant in January