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Plant bare-root beauties now and reap the rewards later

Late December is a great time to plant bare-root roses.
Late December is a great time to plant bare-root roses. Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Take a garden break from holiday happenings. Need ideas?

▪ Bare-root roses, fruit trees, cane berries and grapes can be planted now in the ground or containers. Before planting, hydrate by soaking roots in water overnight.

▪  Prune deciduous trees now while you can see their true shape and framework. Remove crossing branches and dead wood. Make cuts above an outside-facing bud or existing lateral branch.

▪  If an onion sprouts in your vegetable drawer, pot it up and place it in a sunny window. The bulb will soon produce bright-green tops – great for salads, baked potatoes or other uses.

▪  Stay on frost alert. If sub-32-degree overnight temperatures are forecast, shield frost-tender plants such as citrus and soft-stemmed succulents with a cloth sheet – not plastic. If a plant has already been burned by frost, leave the damage alone until spring. That brown foliage can protect the plant from further harm.