Petals from the Past

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Monthly Garden Gossip

December, 2017

Welcome to our garden! We're proud of our hard work and want to share the reward with you, so here is what's going on in the garden this month..Central Alabama

December is a busy month for most of us. Parties, shopping and decorating for the holidays. Take some time out to look at all the seed catalogs that are arriving to plan your spring garden.

All our 2018 seeds are here. We offer Botanical Interest seeds and Renee's Garden Seeds. Many of the seeds are non GMO.

Wildflower seeds can be planted now through January. The seeds should be placed in a container with some builders sand and mixed up. This adds volume to the seeds so they will spread out and not clump up in one location. The seeds should be raked in to make use they make good contact with the soil. Many of these lovely spring annuals need some cold weather for the seeds to germinate.

These seeds are sold by the tablespoon, teaspoon, or 1/2 teaspoon for $1.00,depending on the size of the seed.

Larkspur

Larkspur, Red poppies, Iceland Poppies, California Poppies and Batchelor Buttons are among the many seeds we have available. Once you have them started in your garden, many reseed naturally and fill the spring garden with beautiful color.

Fruit Trees

If you can find the time, the middle of December is an excellent time to start your winter sprays. A spray of dormat oil will kill overwintering inects, their eggs and mites by putting a thin layer of oil on the tree which suffocates them. It should be applies when the temperature is above freezing and when no rain or freezing temperatures are forcast for a least 24 hours after you spray. If you have been having problems with insects this year you could add some malathion to the oil spray. Follow the directions on the label for the amount to use.

It is a good time to root cuttings of roses and many other types of shrubs and perennials.

Meyer Lemon Tree

Meyer Lemon Tree

Citrus trees can be sprayed with ultra fine oil mixed with Neem Oil. This helps to control greasy spot and mites. Greasy spot is caused by the fungus mycosphaerella citri. Greasy spot is a major disease on citrus. It causes premature leaf drop beginning in the fall continuing into winter and spring. As a result, the yields of the following years crops are reduced. Remember to take your citrus inside or cover with winter cloth when the temperature is below approximately 30 degrees. Place a couple of containers of water under the winter cloth of the trees that are too large to move into a warmer location or are planted in the ground. The water will give off the heat it collected during the day. If you have access to an electrical source you could place a light bulb under the cover cloth for added warmth.

The cover cloth should be removed when the threat of freezing weather has passed. Also trees in containers that have been moved into a garage for protection should be moved back out into the sun.

Pansies can still be planted.  Better hurry though the selection is getting limited. Plant them in full sun to light shade in a slightly acid soil.  Use a water soluble fertilizer 15-3-20, 15-3-30, 13-2-13 are some suggested ratios. Avoid slow release fertilizers since they are less effective in the cooler weather. Watering pansies will vary with the season.  You will have to water more in the fall and spring and less in the winter months when it is cooler and the ground stays moist longer.  Pansies
Bulbs can also be planted in December. The selection is still very good. Don't forget the Bulb Booster!

daffodils

If you had trouble growing some of your vegetables or they just didn't preform as you thought they should, maybe there is a problem with your soil. Call your county agent for a soil test kit and for a small fee you will find out what your problem is and how to correct it. The proper PH is crucial for gardening success.

Roses and Camellias

Camellias are in full bloom right now so it is a good time to choose one that you love. The selection is also quite good. Plant camellias in partial shade with protection from the hot afternoon sun.

  Fertilize camellias in late winter with an azalea-camellia fertilizer or a general all purpose fertilizer such as 13-13-13.  Apply one half pound for each well established plant six to eight feet tall.

Winter is a good time to plant roses too. It will give them a jump start on spring.

Camellia

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