58January 16, 2013

This is turning out to be another odd winter. Cold weather, warm weather, rain, snow and now pretty much any of the snow has melted. You know it is an odd winter when it is warmer here than in Southern California!

With very little snow on the ground, you may see signs that the moles and voles have been tunneling in your lawn or in your perennial beds. The tunneling of these pests will damage the roots of your perennials. If you remember back to last spring, many of you had major damage to your gardens due to the tunneling. Our best hope will be for the ground to freeze solid. This will put an end to their ability to tunnel. If the problem continues in your yard, you may want to apply a granular repellent onto the surface of your lawn and perennial beds. This repellent will drive the moles and voles out of your yard.

January is a good month to catch up on the pruning of your trees. If you see broken branches, these branches should be pruned out. You should also be looking at the overall framework of your trees. You may see that some branches are going to crisscross each other as those branches grow. This will eventually lead to damage to one or both of those branches. While these branches are small, you need to prune out one of the branches. If the branches have gotten large, it is best to cut them back in sections. The reason for this is that if you try to cut off a large branch all at once, the weight of the branch will cause the branch to tear bark off the main part of the tree as the branch falls.
If this project is too much for you to do, a landscaper or tree service can do the pruning for you.

The seed catalogs arrive in the mail just as December comes to a close. The pictures of all the plants will get you in the mood to order some seeds and to start some plants. Now, I’d much rather have you buy the seeds from me! After all, we do have the seeds in the store. The problem arises that if you start the seeds for your tomato plants too early, you will have a problem with the plants getting too big before the weather allows you to put the plants outside. The general rule of thumb is that you want to start the plant seeds about 8 weeks before you set the plants into the garden. If you put your tomato plants into the garden around the end of May, then you would be starting your plants in mid to late March. If you want to grow some herbs for use in the house or if you want to start some pansies from seed, you can plant the seeds now. Otherwise, wait a bit before you start those plants for your gardens.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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