Pacific Northwest

December, 2011
Regional Report

Rake Up Fallen Leaves

Rake leaves regularly to keep them off the lawn. If they are allowed to remain, they will shade the lawn, causing brown and bare spots next season. Don't forget to clean leaves and evergreen needles out of your gutters and downspouts.

Tie Vines To Sturdy Supports

Make sure that the canes of your climbing roses and other vining plants are securely fastened to their supports. Winter winds can whip and severely damage unprotected plants. Don't tie them so tightly that the string or twist-tie cuts into the stem. I recommend using a length of an old nylon stocking because it will stretch as the plant grows. Don't forget to tie down the new fruit bearing canes of raspberry and blackberry plants.

Take the Last Chance to Feed Your Lawn

If you haven't already applied a fall or winter type of lawn fertilizer, now is the time to do it. This encourages good root development and helps improve the color of the lawn. Lime can also be applied, if needed.

Clean Garden Tools Before Storing

Clean and oil your garden tools for winter storage. Place some sand mixed with oil in a large bucket, then slide your garden tools in and out of the sand. This will do an excellent job of cleaning them, as well as applying a light coat of oil to prevent rusting. This is also a good month to restock any tools that have seen better days, as prices are generally lower at this time of year.

Protect Evergreens From Snow

Wrap tall arborvitae, junipers, yews, and other columnar-shaped evergreen shrubs with burlap or twine to prevent snow damage and breakage. If deer say, "Thank you for planting this", wrapping bird netting around a plant will often help save it.

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