Put together your to-do list

Published 8:26pm Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Good morning gardeners, this is a great time of the year to get out into your yard and do a good assessment of it and make a check list of things that need doing.

I like this time because things have slowed down, the leaves are off the trees (which makes it easier to see what needs to be done), there are no insects to pester you and it is easier to throw out that little tree or shrub that you keep giving “just one more year” and has never done well. Here is a good starters list:

Start pruning your fruit trees while they are dormant.

Spray them with lime sulfur to keep down insect and diseases this year.

Inspect the trunk for damaged places and apply a tree wound dressing if needed.

It is also a good time to prune muscadine vines and grapes.

Start pruning roses bushes too. A good rule of thumb is about knee high on the hybrid tea and floribundas.

While pruning look for dead wood and weak spindly canes that need pruning.

On your Knock Out roses, simply prune off those faded blooms. They are called rose hips. If you want to cut them harder because they have gotten too big, now is a good time.

Running roses don’t need much pruning, just remove some of the old dead wood as needed.

Those tall leggy good old nandinias should be pruned now to make them bushier. The trick, cut the canes at different heights. Example, cut a few canes about 8 inches, cut some about knee high, then cut some about waist high.Don’t wait until the new growth starts in spring, it’s too late then.

Another chore that needs a little attention are fish ponds and fountains. They are now called “water features.” Make sure to keep the ponds clear of leaves and make sure the pump continues to pump and circulate water for the fish.

Check to make sure no leaves are clogging the pump to extend the life of it.

Remove a build up moss and algae if needed.

Catch one of these warmer days to plant your fruit trees. Apples, pear,figs,plums, peaches, all do really good here.

This year try some blueberries. They are shrubs that need less space than fruit trees, and a couple of bushes produce enough berries for a good jam or pie. remember blueberries need acid soil. So if you have prairie soil don’t plant them, plant pear trees instead.

OK. That’s enough of a short list for now. Stay warm and be glad that we don’t live where snow is knee deep until April.

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