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Garden Checklist: Make hay while winter sun shines

Camellias are starting to bloom – be sure to get rid of old flowers to prevent petal blight.
Camellias are starting to bloom – be sure to get rid of old flowers to prevent petal blight. Sacramento Bee file

Make the most of sunny days – when we get them. Late winter is a time of transition. Work on finishing some chores such as pruning while preparing for spring. And take some time to discover new favorites, too. (Long nights are great for perusing seed catalogs.) Meanwhile, there’s plenty to do:

▪  Remove old flowers from camellias and azaleas to avoid petal blight.

▪  Finish pruning roses. Try to get them done by the end of February. Once the weather warms, new growth will emerge quickly.

▪  If needed, apply a final dormant spray to deciduous fruit trees before the flower buds swell.

▪  Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong blast of water or insecticidal soap.

▪  Transplant or direct-seed snapdragon, candytuft, lily of the valley, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisy, and stocks.

▪  In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichokes, strawberries and rhubarb. Transplant seedlings of lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and kale. Direct-seed radishes, beets, peas and chard.

▪  Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed. A little warmth will make them sprout faster.

Debbie Arrington

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