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Garden Gossip

December 2022

Just in the “Nick” of time ……

Give the gift that will keep giving throughout the year and make the shopping easy on you! We can carefully package and ship your rose purchase to any address* in the USA and will enclose a gift tag sending your holiday wishes. It is a beautiful way to say “Merry Christmas”!

Now through December 25, save 15% on any rose purchased online for shipping! While you’re in the giving spirit – give one to yourself too.

*Please Note:
For climate zones 2-6, we will send a gift card and ship the selected rose at the correct planting time.

For climate zones 7-10,we will ship the 1 gallon rose at the time of order.

****This special is for online rose order with shipping only.
Check out the selection of roses.

Satsuma oranges make a wonderful Christmas gift for the person who has everything. Take a look at what we are offering and you get free shipping too. Fresh Fruit from the Garden.

Protecting Citrus and Vegetables

It is about to get cold!! If you have a Satsuma or Meyer Lemon it is time to either cover your tree or move it into a protected area. You can move it to a garage or barn to keep it from freezing. While these trees can handle temperatures in the 28 degree range, the fruit will freeze at 32 degrees. You can use the winter cloth to cover your tree. I have a Meyer Lemon and when we get temperatures close to freezing I often double cover my tree which is planted in the ground. If you have an electrical outlet nearby you can put a light underneath the tree and it will help to raise the temperature under the cloth. The winter cloth is breathable and can be left on for a few days while we have the coldest weather but should be removed during the day so the tree can get sunshine and then recovered if there are still more cold nights ahead.

The winter cloth is available in 15 and 30 foot widths. We have some 15 X15 foot lengths already cut. The cost is $25. We will, however, custom cut any length you need.

I also use the cover cloth to save my lettuce and Swiss chard which could be damaged by the cold. I remove the cover during the day if the temperatures are above freezing to let the plants get some sun.

Fruit Trees

If you can find the time in December, dormant oil can be used this month on your fruit trees. The spray is a refined petroleum product formulated for use in the fruit orchard. It kills overwintering insects and their eggs by putting a thin layer of oil on the tree which suffocates them. It should be applied when the temperature is above freezing and when no rain or freezing temperatures are forecast for at least 24 hours after you spray. This oil controls mostly mites and scale on fruit plants. We usually spray at least twice in the winter with this oil.

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 not too late to plant spring flowering bulbs. The selection is still good. Don’t wait too long or they won’t have a chance to make roots and flower before the weather gets too warm. We have a good selection of bulbs that are suited to our southern climate

There is a good selection of strawberry plants. We have 2 varieties of strawberry plants. Camarosa has medium-large size firm fruit, early/ mid season from California – This selection is the main commercial variety. Chandler has medium-large fruit. It ripens early/mid season. This is a good older variety. The plants are $30.00 for a flat of 18 plants or $2.00 each.

According to the Alabama Extension service strawberry plants need full sun, well drained soils, adequate moisture and fertility. The biggest threat to strawberry harvests in the late winter and early spring months are freezing temperatures and disease.

If you would like to know more about caring for your strawberry plants you may go to


Pansies can still be planted in December. The selection of pansies at Petals is excellent. There are trailing pansies called Cool Wave, great for containers and hanging baskets. There are violas and the larger flowered pansy. If you are looking for lots of blooms violas would be a great choice.

Pansies and violas should be planted 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 more moist.

All our Christmas decorations and gift items are now on sale at 50% off. Come by and take a look!

Petals from the Past will close on December 23 at 12:00 noon and will re-open on January 23, 2023 at 9:00am.

All of us at Petals wish you a very Merry Holiday season and a Happy New Year. We look forward to helping you with all your gardening needs in 2023. We appreciate your loyalty and support. Thank you for helping us grow.