Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Beginning of the Winter Garden

There are a lot of things to do during the seemingly long and cold winter season.  One of the most important tasks is to keep the compost pile active by adding organic kitchen debris including coffee grounds and egg shells.  It is also important to turn the compost pile ever so often.  It looks better.  Keep it moist and give it a handful of fertilizer now and then.

Another important thing to do is raking up the leaves and pine needles from your grassy area also known as lawn.  Add this debris to the compost pile, mulch around azaleas and roses.  I heard a cute saying for the reason that leaves are called "leaves:"  leave the leaves where they fall.  Not.

In the north eastern part of Florida, it is also time to prune roses unless they are still retaining a lot of greenery and are still blooming.  When pruning, try to shape the roses in the manner you want them to eventually grow.  The roses should definitely be heavily pruned for the next growing season no later than February.  Remove the leaves that are spotted and remove the leaves on the ground.  They are in all probability disease carrying.  Finally remove the weeds in the rose beds, fertilize, and mulch.

Also, Cassia has bloomed out and is dropping its leaves.  It is time for a severe pruning to promote new growth for the upcoming season.  Cassia is a fast grower.

In case of a prolonged deep freeze, pick all citrus fruit that are ripe for harvesting.  Remove all weeds and debris around the trees.  Trim the dead branches and trim away branches that touched the ground during this past growing season.

If I must at this time of the year cut the grass, I use the highest setting and the grass catcher bags to catch those blooming plants (weeds) and seed heads.  Some of the larger weeds are best removed manually.  I simply use the shovel to dig up the roots.  It does leave pocks in the lawn but I consider the ground as being aerated.

Keep an eye on the temperature and protect your sensitive plants with frost blankets or bed sheets.  Avoid plastic and tarps directly on plants because their sides are freezing cold and they do not trap the heat.  If possible, deep water areas that you especially want to protect from frost and freeze.  The soil retains the water and the heat.  We have a small orange trees with its fruit that we are going to cover with frost blankets and hang a couple of utility lights inside the frost blankets.

Happy Gardening.
Thank you for visiting my blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment