We recently experienced a beautiful snow storm. The snow cover will protect your plants from freezing and will provide moisture. Sprinkle bird seed (the birds will love you), sand or kitty litter on icy walks. Do not use salt which will burn your plants and shrubs and will eat away at bricks. Don’t forget to gently scoop fresh snow off boxwoods and evergreens for the snow may freeze and break branches.
Dec. 21st is the Winter Solstice the shortest day and longest night of the year and the official start of winter. With the shorter periods of light plants die or stop producing new growth. Average daily temperature below 43oF (6oC) will also cause plants to stop growth; so the leaves, stems, and flowers die. However, the roots of trees, shrubs and some plants are storing energy for spring growth. Tomorrow, days will start to lengthen; as nights shorten.
Check your plants you have brought into your home for the winter. The plants may harbor insect pests, such as aphids, which will quickly multiply in the warm environment. If you find infestations; wash the plant then spray a non-toxic soap insecticide on your plant.
After weeks of the Xmas frenzy I am ready to nest in my home and read the garden books I’ve been stockpiling all year, but haven’t taken the time to read. So while your garden is resting; envision your dream garden for 2010.
Warm wishes for a peaceful, happy, and healthy Holiday and New Year.