Plants of the year: Perennial- Panicum Virgatum “Northwind” Herb- Artemisia Vegetable-Mascotte Bean Rose- Lady Marmalade
The “To-Do’s” Lister, plus other exciting ideas:
Dormant sprays of horticultural oil (preventative sprays for the control of various insects as well as powdery mildew) as well as lime Sulfur (preventative for various diseases such as leaf curl, powdery mildew, and black spot) should be applied sometime during this time of the year. Spray the entire tree and surrounding ground any day the temperature us above 40 degrees and no chance of rain or snowfall. Possible trees and shrubs to spray include fruit, shade, and flowering trees, as well as cane berries, roses, and snowball bushes. The second application of these sprays should be applied just as buds begin to pop open.
If you have had problems with your lilacs not blooming, it may be that you have a disease present. An application of liquid Copper Spray combined with a surfactant (Spreader Sticker) can also be applied during the dormant season (Jan. – Feb.). As with the dormant sprays you can reapply at bud break, even during the growing season.
If you are wishing to obtain a little help with weed control this year, the window for applying granular pre-emergent’s is coming to a close. Products like our Treflan (Weed & Grass Preventer)and Corn Weed Blocker (an organic version) need to be applied BEFORE the nasty little buggers start to sprout. A thin layer of compost or bark mulch over the top of the granules really will improve performance and well worth the extra time involved. The later product may even be applied over the lawn to help control dandelions, clover, and chick-weed…… dang.
If you are wishing to start a few garden seeds indoors this year there are a few rules you may want to follow. Use only clean sterilized containers, a specific soil-free seed starting soil, a heat mat or thermostatically controlled heat cables, a clear plastic grow dome to cover the seedling tray, and last but not least a GOOD grow light. We offer many variations including fluorescent, HP sodium, Metal Halide, as well as new energy efficient LED units. Check out my full article on seed starting at http://coldzonegardening.com/ It is very important to follow a timing schedule to eliminate wasted seedlings.
As the season warms and early “budders” begin to show a little life it is sometimes fun to go out and collect a few branches for indoor forcing. Best time to bring them in is when buds show just a spot of bud-crack. Clipped off to early will result in poor performance or no color at all.
Check to make sure that landscape plants under building eves, dense evergreen trees, and other areas where natural rain and snowfall can’t access, have adequate moisture in the soil. Once to twice a month applications will usually suffice in the winter and very early spring season. Dehydration is the number one cause of plant failures in our cold and dry High Desert area!
There are always a lot of calls about pruning as the buds swell and we get a few off and on peeks at warm sunny weather, but I must say it is best not to prune at this time. You are apt to encounter running sap on many of the trees that is impossible to stop. Roses pruned to early will many times result in COMPLETE plant loss if we encounter another round of hard freezing. Pruning other deciduous plant material can result in poor spring flowering and additional twig dieback due to late frosts. If you still have evergreens in need of pruning you may proceed but you are running out of time to do this task.
If you are going to shop for garden seed at local garden centers (and I thank for that) it is wise to get in there early while supplies are strong. With the recent increase in gardening many seed companies are struggling meeting buyers demands. On a site note if you plan on growing any legume (peas, beans, etc.) make sure to pick up a specific legume innoculant. This product will not only assist in germination and growth but increased vigor, number of blossoms, and subsequent fruit!
If you are looking to fertilize you veggie and herb gardens I would highly recommend the application of granular organic “Cold Climate” fertilizer, plus the addition of granular “Humic Acid” and “Azomite” (a calcium rich micro with over 70 additional natural goodies). These three ingredients combined with a humus rich soil and you should be about ready to dive into the 2011 garden season. If you feel the need to add additional nutritional supplement you might want to take a look at a liquid organic fertilizer known as “Earth Juice”. There are multiple variations of this GREAT product including the likes of “Grow”, “Bloom”, and “Catalyst”. Mixed with water and poured over the top of your plants will give them a summer boost like no other!!! Dang…
If you are contemplating building or buying a greenhouse, cold frame, or high tunnel, Redmond greenhouse offers multiple glazing’s to cover your structure. From inexpensive UV Greenhouse plastic to dual layered laminates we carry just about any specialty product you might need plus all the expert advice to save you time and money. We also offer pre-built (local) as well as do-it yourself greenhouse kits. We even have pre-built Coldframes (the so-called “poor man’s” greenhouse).
If you have not considered it yet, it is a wise gardener whom plants insectory seeds and plants to help lure in valuable pollinating insects. These little guys are not in vast supply due to our somewhat sterile environment. Fruit set is most certainly enhanced when sufficient quantities of pollinators are present. You might even consider becoming a keeper of honey bees!
Happy Early Gardening………. Doug PS: On a side note if you would like to receive additional info, coupons, specials, and other garden/landscape related info feel free to go to my blog http://coldzonegardening.com and click on the newsletter link. Simply enter your email address and you are all set…………… Thank for your time………….. Here comes spring.