Winter in Northern California
Bare root planting, dormant tree pruning and spraying are at the top of the list in this season.
January is the time for bare root planting. Roses, fruit trees, berry vines and California natives are available now at nurseries as bare root plants. When buying bare roots, make sure the roots are moist, plump and plentiful. Plant immediately or cover with moist soil to prevent the roots from drying out. Don't even let them sit out overnight unprotected. A liquid fertilizer like diluted "SUPERthrive" will reduce transplant shock. Be sure to read the label.
Here's a short list of what to avoid when planting bare roots:
- Avoid bending or jamming the roots.
- Avoid planting too shallow (leaving roots exposed to the air).
- Avoid planting too deep (roots need to be just below the surface to breathe).
- Avoid covering any graft with soil or mulch (it will smother and kill the bare root).
- Avoid air pockets around the roots.
Dormant Fruit trees, shade trees and shrubs, rose bushes and general ormanetals all need to be taken care of now. With the leaves gone the time is ideal to shape and cut out any dead or dying material.
Integrated Pest Management is wonderful, yet many gardeners prefer to use spray. Spraying for disease and insects can take from 3 to several sprayings, and possibly require rotating the chemicals after a couple of sprays, provided the particualr plant involved can take it. Some plants can handle only sulfur or copper products. Read the labels first.
Use granular fertilizer at this time of year for most plants. Cold temperatures suppress the nutrient uptake in dormant plants, so be patient. When fertilizing bare root plants, use a liquid fertilizer like diluted "SUPERthrive". It reduces transplant shock. Be sure to read directions to properly dilute the fertilizer.
If you haven't already done any kind of clean-up in your yard, now would be a great opportunity to take advantage of the weather if it's permissable. Get rid of any leaf debris laying around, especially if it is at or below the base of your trees and shrubs. By removing the debris you will have a higher chance of eliminating any harboring disease and insects. Recycle only insect and disease free debris into your composte pile for next seasons mulching. Take contaminated debris to your local landfill to stop spreading the problem in your garden.
Keeping equipment in good shape is very important. Using machine oil on all of your tools will help prevent rust and give
them longer life. If power tools are not used in the off season, it is good to drain the fuel from them. Aging, unused
fuel can clog carburators and fuel lines, causing problems for small engines.
This is also a good time to look through your seed and bulb catalogues to choose and order for the coming season's garden. Now is the time to order for your spring colors.
Weeds are another problem for most landscapes. Hoe them when possible. For those using Round-up, be sure to use a spreader sticker mixed in with your tank so the material will stick to the plant tissue, especially through the rains. The cooler temperatures will slow down activation of the chemical, so be patient, it will work.
For those starting a new landscape, or rennovating their existing landscape, now is the best time to call or email us here at Creative Environments. We can start designing all aspects of your landscape and have it ready for spring and summer installations. Remember - repair, recycle, and give something back to the environment. Let nature return the pleasure that we at Creative Environments help you to realize.
Good Gardening" from all of us here at Creative Environments
Creative Environments would like to meet with you to discuss your landscaping needs. Please feel free to call us at (707) 827-7980 for a free, one-hour consultation with one of our landscape specialists. We look forward to hearing from you.