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Winter Yard Chores

December 11, 2013


WINTER CHORES (December – February)


  1. Mow less often and higher where lawns continue growing.
  2. Avoid walking on frozen lawns that aren’t covered by snow.


  1. Water if rainfall is light.
  2. Wrap trunks of young trees to protect them from rodents.
  3. In late winter, prune shrubs or trees that flower later in summer (such as crape myrtle, butterfly bush, grasses, and hydrangea (prune new growth only now), azaleas (December or when dormant)).


  1. Tie vines and climbing roses securely to supports, for preventing winter winds from damaging plants.
  2. Mulch after soil freezes.


  1. In mild winter areas, fertilize lightly with a nitrate-containing fertilizer (it’s active in cold weather).
  2. As soon as soil is workable in late winter, plant cool-season annuals (such as pansies, primroses and snapdragons).


  1. Where winter temperatures dip to 10 degrees F (-12 C) or lower, mound soil or mulch over graft union to protect it.
  2. Prune to remove dead and damaged branches and to thin center of bush in late winter before spring growth resumes.  Prune to about knee height.


  1. In early winter, plant soil-improving cover crop of rye grass where winters are cold; where winters are mild, plant mustard or fava beans.
  2. Plant seeds indoors February – April.


  1. Sharpen and clean garden tools
  2. Organize storage shed.


The UNgardener


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