Winter lessens yard work, but there’s still plenty to do

Published 10:48 pm Thursday, December 15, 2011

Now that work in the garden is almost complete for the season, this month is a good time to get things in order for next spring and enjoy the winter’s greenery.

The perfect time to cut any brown perennials is after the area experiences its first frost. While cutting, it is better to leave a few inches of stem rather than cutting them down to the ground, so you will know where they are planted.

But cold-sensitive plants should be left alone until late March or early April.

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During the winter, it is still important to keep newly planted trees and shrubs well-watered, especially evergreens, but if the ground is frozen, watering shouldn’t be completed.

As for the deciduous trees in the yard, if they have lost all of their leaves, now is a good time to clean the beds and put down fresh mulch.

December also is the last time cool season lawns should be fed until next fall. However, pansies should be fed throughout the winter by using liquid fertilizer or granular formula.

With the work in the yard down to a minimum, this is a great opportunity to clean, sharpen and oil any gardening tools to be used next spring.

During the holidays, a gardener’s yard is a great place to gather holiday greens, cones and berries to use in decorations for the home.

The combination of a basic wreath and embellishments from the garden can make a great decoration for the front door. The garden can be a nice source to find things for table and mantel decorations as well.

In this area, this month is not too late to plant spring-blooming bulbs, and they can even make great Christmas gifts for other people.