Winter Prep for Summer Blooms

I know it’s winter and the garden is sleeping, but prepping in January and Feburary inspires prolific summer blooms.

Here are 10 tips for your winter to do list:

  1. Trim the roses back on President’s Day to thigh high. (Remember you trimmed them to thigh high last October on Columbus Day, allowing for 6″ of freeze.)
  2. Sharpen or replace your hand clippers. Dull clippers leave room for water rot on uneven branches. [I love these! They fit my hand and stay sharp.]
  3. Dip your clippers in bleach water between plants to avoid spreading diseases (5-gallon bucket, fill halfway, add 1 cup of bleach)
  4. Replace your leather garden gloves. The leather protects your hands from the toxin on the rose thorns. [These are my favorite!]
  5. Cut to 2″ all perennial grasses.
  6. Cut any old growth.
  7. Fruit trees and bushes–Cut back any growth the grows straight up. Trim branches you know can’t hold the weight of fruit.
  8. Throw a handful of Epsom salts at the base of perennials and fruit trees.
  9. Spread at the base of roses systemic granules to protect roses from mold, disease, and aphids. [I like this 3-1 care]
  10. Preen all the pathways and flowerbeds with established plants (newbie plants can’t take this weed reduction) Remember, Preen is a weed stunter, so it needs to be spread before they grow. Read the directions. I love this product because our flowerbeds are in the same area as our well water source and it’s non-toxic to water and pets. I spread it on a dry day (rare in the Pacific Northwest in the winter) and just before a rainy day (otherwise you can sprinkle water over it)

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