General Maintenance, Gardens

  • Good time to plant bare–root trees and plants if soil not frozen
  • Good time to purchase winter flowering shrubs, Cornus mas (cornelian cherry), Mahonia bealei (leather–leaf Mahonia), Sasanqua camellias, Chimonanthus praecox (wintersweet), witchhazel, and Sycopsis sinensis
  • Western Oregon – gather branches of quince, forsythia, flowering cherries, bring in for early bloom
  • Add to compost pile wind–down branches and pruned limbs (if not diseased), should be chopped, the smaller the better
  • Inspect fruit in storage and remove those that are decayed
  • Check stored bulbs, corms and tubers; bad spots on dahlia tubers can be cut out and dusted with sulfur, compost rest with any decay.
  • Clean and sharpen tools
  • Start all motor-powered equipment at least once a month(lubricates all parts)
  • build Mason bee nesting blocks, 5/16th inch holes drilled into 4X4 or 2X4 will do, attend Home Orchard Society event for more details, bees may be purchased from HOS Arboretum Chapter
  • In sunny cold areas, wrap or paint young tree trunks to prevent sunscald
  • Check trees and shrubs for vole and field mice damage, remove plant growth from at least 18″ from trunk, trap if required
  • Got moss? Probably too much moisture, shade, soil compaction, and/or low fertility (see F 13 Organic Lawn Care)Moss and lichen on trees and shrubs is a sign of clean air so leave alone
  • Make 4 season plan (spring, summer, fall and winter) for your garden
  • Make a plan of your current plants in your garden and gradually plant to convert to an edible landscape

Plant Specific

  • Check spruce trees for small green, spruce aphids on last season’s needles, if you do not control now – too late when you see damage in spring
  • Plant peas, sweet peas and potatoes in straw bed (pull away straw, drop seed on soil, cover with straw) prepared in September (see September)
  • Fertilize perennial vegetables (artichokes, asparagus, rhubarb) with well–rotted manure

Fruit Tree, General

  • Prune fruit trees if not too cold (below 45°F, cut out and dispose of any diseased wood, use spreaders on fruit tree branches as needed.
  • Collect scions for grafting, label, and place in airtight plastic bag, keep in dark, moist, cold (33°F) space
  • Look for mite eggs, aphid eggs, San Jose scale – dormant spray if not done in December

Fruit Tree, Specific

  • Spray cherry trees for bacterial canker; use copper fungicide and spreader/sticker
  • Mid–January, second spray (copper [at least 50% or not effective] or sulfur plus spreader/sticker) for peach leaf curl on peaches and nectarines (same as December)