Winter months are great for garden renovation. Dormant plants are easier to prune, divide and move. Maintenance and clean up also are high priority. (In the city of Sacramento, the “Claw” will pick up street piles of green waste for two more weeks. Get that pruning done!)
• Clean up leaves and debris around fruit trees and rose bushes to prevent the spread of disease.
• Apply oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective. Don’t apply on foggy days.
• Prune hybrid tea, floribunda and grandiflora roses for April bloom. For more flowers this spring, prune less severely. For a taller bush, prune canes to 24 to 30 inches tall instead of 12 to 18 inches.
• Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.
• Cut back chrysanthemums to 6 to 8 inches tall; divide if necessary.
• In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.
• Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.
• Plant bare-root roses, shrubs and fruit trees.
– Debbie Arrington