February 2011

The final spraying for leaf curl should be done this week. Don’t delay on getting it done. The warm weather will make the trees begin to bloom. Make sure to get the spraying done before the color of the blooms begin to show. If you have apricots you should use copper spray. If you don’t have apricots you can use either copper or sulfur. Mix neem oil or a dormant oil with it when you spray. It will help the spray to cling to the tree and also help to kill overwintering insects. Pruning of fruit trees and roses and other plants should be done while they are still dormant. That is another task that should be done soon. Minor pruning can be done anytime but if you have some major prunig to do, try to get it done soon. This unseasonably warm weather is going to force plants to break dormancy soon. Fertilizing will be needed when the plants have put on their leaves for the spring. A balanced fertilizer works well for most trees and shrubs. Look for fertilizer with all three numbers the same such as 16/16/16. Some plants need special fertilizer. Azaleas and Rhododendrons like acid …

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January 2011

Second and third dormant spraying on fruit trees should be completed this month and in February. With all the rain it has bee hard to get it done. If you have not done your second spraying do it now and then the third should be done February usually around the middle of the month. You want to get it done before the buds are starting to show flower color. Use copper spray or sulfur spray and mix some dormant oil in with it to help it cling to the tree and also kill any overwintering insects. If you have apricot trees only use copper spray. Never use sulfur spray on apricots. Prune fruit trees and roses. Fruit trees can be pruned this month or next month but roses should wait until mid February to be sure to get past all the heavy freezes before pruning. This year I plan to have pruning clinics for fruit trees and roses. I will send an email with the dates as soon as I have them set. The ground is pretty wet right now but you can still plant bare root trees and shrubs. It is a good idea to mix compost in with …

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December 2010

GARDENING TIPS FOR DECEMBER 2010 There are not a great many chores that are really necessary for the month of December, but there is one that should not be overlooked or “put off until later”, which is a very easy thing to do during this busy season which is often cold and rainy. The deciduous fruit trees are due for the second dormant spraying for the season in late December (Christmas), the last one being due in mid-February (Valentine’s Day). If the November spraying was delayed because the trees had not yet dropped leaves or rain interfered with your schedule, still try to get done as close to the recommended timing as possible. We have already had some very low temperatures in late November and hope that everyone was ready and protected their vulnerable plants. Do keep all plants well watered when freezing weather has been predicted — a wet plant will tolerate the freezing much better than a dry plant. Since water freezes at 32 degrees F., the wet soil will be kept at 32 degrees by a ‘blanket’ of ice, even though the temperature may go lower. Plants can similarly be protected by letting a sprinkler run allowing …

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November 2010

GARDENING TIPS FOR NOVEMBER 2010 November is here and usually brings brisk weather with it that helps convince deciduous trees and plants that it really is time to shed their leaves. Thanksgiving will be here before we know it , and that should be a reminder to gardeners that it is time for the first application of dormant spray to prevent leaf curl on peaches and nectarines. The two most frequently used sprays are copper spray or lime sulfur spray, and it is often recommended that they be alternated from one year to the next for the best results. They both are effective on many other fungal infections, as well, such as powdery mildew, black spot, shot hole fungus and others. Read the insert that comes with whichever you decide to use and learn what other things might be protected, such as roses. The peach and nectarines need three dormant sprayings — late November (Thanksgiving), late December (Christmas) and mid-February (Valentine’s Day). They should have shed all leaves before spraying. While you are out to spray them, take a rake along and clean up any debris, such as leaves and old fruit that may have fallen. Spray the ground around …

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Fall 2010

Gardening Tips for Fall 2010 PLANTING TREES – Many of you will recognize the diagram we put in the fall flyer that emphasizes advantages of fall planting. We have used it for several ears. A visual description can often illustrate something better than just words can convey. October is probably the best time to plant trees. The temperature is usually on a noticeable down trend, and with a little luck, Mother Nature might send us some rain. It can be seen on the diagram that the roots get a head start over anything planted in spring. Spring is a good time to plant, too, but those things planted in fall have the advantage of the extra root growth developed during fall and winter months, and are better prepared for the coming hot weather that follows spring. FALL FERTILIZING should be done in September, which is probably the most important fertilization of the year. All plants are going into a period of dormancy and store food in their tissues to be able to leaf out, bloom, and set fruit in the spring. Deciduous plants and trees must be fertilized before their leaves begin to turn color and fall because a leafless …

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August 2010

. . . August is usually one of the hottest months of the summer.  Planting can be this month,  just be prepared to be diligent about the watering and care of those plants.  Larger shrubs with lots of foliage and large trees will need to be watched carefully.  Use ‘Superthrive’ at the time of planting to minimize the chance of transplant shock. Fill the planting hole with water and let it drain away into the surrounding ground just before planting, thereby allowing the first watering of the plant to stay right around the root area. . . . Planting big things in the evening is helpful because the plant can get somewhat settled during the cooler evening, night, and early morning hours.  Water it well the following morning so it has plenty of moisture to draw on for the transition and for facing the heat of the day.  The disruption of the roots also disrupts the efficiency of the roots until they re-establish themselves. . . . August is a good month for maintenance and enjoying the fruits of your labor – whether they be harvesting fruits and vegetables, or simply enjoying the tranquil, shaded areas of your yard and …

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July 2010

. . . It was a rocky start for most vegetable gardens this year.  We had such a cool spring with so much  changeable  weather that the little starter plants had difficulty getting started.  Then they were accosted by hail storms that ruined some of them.  I know that we were scrambling to get a new shipment of little vegetable plants out of harm’s way twice!  We hope that all the vegetable gardens are doing well by now and that you will be able to harvest veggies soon, if you are not already. . . . July is a month of what seems like non-stop watering.  It is also a month for vacations and other summer activities.  If you are leaving on a vacation, and have someone to do the watering for you, it would be a good idea to go over all the necessary things that need to be done.  That person needs to know any quirks in your watering system, and about any plant that needs extra care or that should not be watered daily, etc.  If you have an automated system, you might ask a relative, friend or neighbor to check it out a time or two …

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June 2010

June 2010 Tips . . . This has been an unusual weather month for May with cool and changeable weather and certainly more rain than usual.  The few short warm spells we have had have encouraged people to start their vegetable gardens, only to discourage them because things just don’t want to grow when the weather turns cool again.  You can’t fool Mother Nature, but she can certainly fool us! . . . When the hot weather arrives, don’t be complacent about the necessity of thorough watering just because it hasn’t been a vital issue thus far.  During the heat of summer there are frequent calls about plants that are not doing well – wilting or scorched leaves, dropping blooms, dead branch ends – all signs of too little water.  Even with daily watering those symptoms can be seen because too little water is being delivered with each watering.  It is generally better to do a good deep watering every 2 to3 days which will help to soak the area well enough that it doesn’t dry out quickly.  Mulching helps to slow evaporation and can reduce the frequency irrigation.  When you visit the nursery, pick up a copy of our pass-out “Are …

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