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Gardening Tips: December

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Spraying an anti-desiccant could mean life or death to some evergreens. Applying a product such as Wilt-pruf coats the needles on evergreens and broad leafed evergreens such as holly and Rhododendron which reduces the amount of moisture that is lost though the leaf. This product will not harm the plant and will wear off in about 60 days; you may need to reapply this product later in the winter. Read all directions before applying, temperatures should be above 40 degrees before applying since you do not want this product to freeze on. Apply liberally to top and bottom of leaf surface until product runs off. It is very important to treat all newly planted evergreens that are in a sunny or windy area. This is also a very useful tool when transplanting any evergreens or shade trees during the summer months. Be careful when using this product on blue-colored evergreens as it tends to pull out the color.

Winter protection for trees and shrubs:
Protecting newly planted trees by mulching them heavy and being sure to stake them if they are in a windy spot will protect them from the strong winter winds. When heavy snows occur, be careful how snow is plowed. To prevent damage, avoid piling heavy wet snow on them, which will break them up. Ice can be very damaging to pines and birch these plants will bend a lot but can break under the weight of ice. Be careful with ice melt products and plants, when salts build up in soils it gets harder for the plants to take up nutrients and they will struggle and die. When hanging holiday lights be sure they are UL approved. Hang lights so they are loosely attached so that they are not damaging the plant at all.

Live Christmas tree planting preparation:
If you are purchasing a live (B&B) Christmas tree with the intent of planting it outdoors in January, prepare the ground surface area by laying out a piece of plastic covered with 3-4 inches of mulch to slow down the freezing process.