Category: Ken Morgan

Hands off that Christmas cactus!

When the flowers on Christmas cactus fade, pinch off the blooms and begin a five-week dormant cycle. Do not touch the plant for five full weeks — meaning no water and no fertilizer. In the second week of February, begin bi-weekly feedings of Jack’s Classic 20-20-20, and expect a second round of flowers to come after March 15. Some other items to add to your January gardening to-do agenda include: • Mulch perennial beds or plants with three to four inches of mulch to keep plants frozen in place and to prevent them from being heaved out of the soil. Dusty Miller must also be mulched if it is to re-grow in the spring. • Spray all snow shovels and discharge chute and impellers of snow blowers with silicone spray. This will allow the snow to slide off and not become impacted. • Use calcium chloride or granular urea (46-0-0) instead of salt crystals when attempting to melt snow or ice. Both these products will work faster and more efficiently than salt, without harming your lawn or plants. • Try not to walk on frozen grass over the winter as you will destroy the living cells in the blades of grass wherever you step. Two or more inches of snow and you can walk on the grass, three or more inches and sledding is OK. • Always remove heavy...

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Garden chores don’t stop for cold

By Ken Morgan Try to keep your holiday cactus in the coolest possible room. This will help delay the opening of the buds until Christmas. Always feed your plant with Super Bloom when watering while the plant is flowering. • Keep leaves raked-up on your lawn and landscape areas. Allowing them to remain creates an environment for over-wintering insects and diseases. Whenever possible, compost the leaves for use next spring. • Buy your Cut Christmas tree now. Balsam, Fraser Fir, Noble Fir, and Douglas Fir trees are the best choice because they absorb water more freely, making them the safest indoor cut tree. • Before you purchase a cut tree, try to break off a small branch with your fingers. If it snaps, off consider it dead. If it does not snap off, cut off a small piece and see if it is green or white, which means the tree is still alive and a good Christmas tree. • Consider spraying your cut or balled tree, fresh evergreen wreaths and greens with Wilt-Pruf. This will help it to retain moisture in the needles throughout the holidays and prevent premature needle drop. It can also be used outdoors to keep not only cut greens fresh, but will protect evergreen plants as well. Winter winds tend to dehydrate evergreen leaves on hollies, camellias, azaleas, rhododendron, mahonia and other broadleaf evergreens. One application...

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Plants need water for dormancy

by Ken Morgan As the drought conditions continue, continue once-weekly soakings of all trees and shrubs. Remember, plants need 1 inch of rain weekly, especially now that they are preparing to go dormant. WEEK ONE 1. For all evergreens, camellias, rhododendron, azaleas, viburnum, and even roses, consider using Wilt-Pruf. This product will help seal in the moisture and help protect the plant from winter’s bitter drying winds, and protect the crown of newly planted shrubs when freezing and thawing cycles occur. One application will be enough for the winter season. WEEK TWO 1. Set your mower height to 2-2.5...

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