Time to prepare for the spring garden

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Time to prepare for the spring garden

Time to prepare for the spring garden

It is now less than two months until the official start of spring. Yes, there’s still more cold weather and rain in our future, but at least it’s in sight.

Here are some chores for you to help pass the time.

  • Your citrus trees might be loaded with fruit, but they will begin blooming at the first hint of warmer weather. Now is the time to feed them. Be sure to follow package instructions.
  • If you have peaches and nectarines, you will get peach leaf curl. It’s inevitable, so reduce the damage by spraying now with fixed copper.
  • While you’re at, spray apple, pear, peach, nectarine and apricot trees with dormant oil to control scale, aphid and mite eggs. Spraying now, while the trees are leafless, will help you to get the oil where it’s needed.
  • If you’re in the mood for planting, you can plant bare root fruit trees, berries, rhubarb, asparagus and grapes now.
  • Try something new this year and try fruit tree grafting. Check out the offerings at the California Rare Fruit Growers scion exchanges.
  • Take root cuttings of perennial vegetables including artichokes and rhubarb. Root cuttings are easy to take and are a reliable way of propagating many perennial plants.
  • You’ll be needing them soon, so clean seed starting trays and containers with a 10 percent bleach solution to kill damping off fungal spores.
  • Plant seedlings of frost hardy vegetables in prepared beds.
  • Gather up labels and a wax pencil for labeling seedlings you’ll be starting indoors.
  • If it’s January, it’s a good time to prune dormant shrubs including roses, but it’s still too early to prune spring flowering shrubs.

Contra Costa Master Gardeners contributed to this report.


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Published at Wed, 25 Jan 2017 18:00:20 +0000