Pacific Northwest

December, 2012
Regional Report

Prevent Snow Damage

Tie up columnar plants that may splay during winter wind and snow storms. Juniper, arborvitae and cypress will benefit from being wrapped in twine. Remember to remove it in spring.

Shake Snow from Shrubs

In the event of snow, be sure to gently shake or brush off the white stuff from the branches of your evergreens and shrubs. Light fluffy snow poses no real threat, but if it becomes wet and frozen, the weight dramatically increases. Branches are more brittle when the plants are dormant, and the weight of the snow may snap them off.

Clean, Sharpen, and Store Garden Tools

Extra time this month might well be spent getting your garden tools ready for spring. Sharpen and oil tools such as shovels, shears, mowers, and the like. Power tools such as weed eaters and power mowers may benefit from a good tune-up. Could the wheelbarrow use a fresh coat of paint?

Control Fungus Gnats Indoors

If you've had trouble with fungus gnats (small black flies that emerge from potting soil in indoor plants), try topping the potting soil with a decorative layer of gravel. The gravel prevents the gnats from laying their eggs in the moist potting soil, so the population of adult flies will eventually be reduced.

Control Winter Weeds

Chickweed grows best during the fall and winter months. To prevent this small-leaved, ground-hugging weed from taking over your beds and borders, scout regularly and pull any you find. Spreading an organic pre-emergent herbicide such as corn gluten over your garden beds will help keep this and other winter weeds at bay.

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