Don’t put away that shovel! Even if you never got around to planting tomatoes and peppers last summer, you can grow vegetables in December – just not the same ones. Take a break from the holiday hoopla and work on your winter garden. Think of it as burning off those extra holiday calories.
▪ Transplant asparagus roots along with seedlings for bok choy, kale and leaf lettuce.
▪ Seed directly into garden beds such cool-weather favorites as fava beans, broccoli, mustard, radicchio and radishes. Also, plant onion sets and garlic.
▪ Start indoors early spring annuals such as aster, calendula, cornflower and cosmos.
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▪ Want spring color in a hurry? Seeds for California poppy and echinacea can be planted directly in the garden.
▪ To help prevent leaf curl, apply a copper fungicide spray to peach and nectarine trees after they lose their remaining leaves. Leaf curl, which shows up in the spring, is caused by a fungus that winters as spores on the limbs and around the tree in fallen leaves. Sprays are most effective if applied now. Choose a fungicide with at least 50 percent copper.
▪ For larger blooms, pinch off some camellia buds.
▪ Plant spring bulbs such as daffodils, Dutch iris, hyacinths, ranunculus, sparaxis, watsonia, freesia and tulips. Over-plant with winter annuals such as pansies and violas.