Yard and Garden: Winter check list

By Tom Dominguez

Now that there are fewer garden chores, take time to browse gardening catalogs or search the Internet for those hard-to-find favorites.
Place orders for seeds this month so you will have them available when you are ready to plant. By ordering early, you will be more certain of getting the varieties you want. In addition to ordering seeds that you are already familiar with, try a few new kinds each year to broaden your garden contents.
l The woody portions of shrubs and perennials may be left in place until further in the season.
Late December through February is usually the best time to prune them.
l Reduce the fertilization of indoor plants from late October to mid-March. An exception would be plants in an atrium or a well lighted window.
l Take care to examine house plants on a weekly basis to discover pests such as aphids before they have multiplied extensively. Control these pests with a stream of spray outside, rub them off with your fingers or a swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or soapy solution.
l Drain gasoline from power tools and run the engine until fuel in the carburetor is used up.
l Drain and store garden hoses and watering equipment in a readily accessible location. The lawn and plants may need water during a prolonged dry spell.
l November through February is a good time to plant trees and shrubs.
l Continue to set out cool-season bedding plants, such as pansies, violas, stock, snapdragons, and dianthus.
l Prepare beds and individual holes for rose planting in January and February. Use composted manure, pine bark, and similar materials mixed with existing soil.
l Use good pruning practices when selecting Christmas greenery from landscape plants. Don’t destroy the natural form and beauty of the plant.
l Protect your lawn from excessive winter damage by providing irrigation during dry periods.
l Plant spring-flowering bulbs if you haven’t already done so. Be sure to refrigerate tulips and hyacinths for six to eight weeks prior to planting.
Look for more tips on Saturday

Tom Dominguez is an agent with the Quay County Extension, NMSU Extension Service. He can be reached by emailing tdomingu@nmsu.edu or calling 461-0562.