Magazine article Sunset

Your CHECKLIST

Magazine article Sunset

Your CHECKLIST

Article excerpt

PLANT

Grow a living Christmas tree in a pot on your porch, and decorate it with miniature outdoor lights and waterproof ornaments. Keep the soil moist, cover with burlap when temperatures are predicted to drop below freezing, and transplant the tree to a bed in the garden in early spring.

MAINTAIN

Soak the ground well if the soil is dry, then mulch beds with a foot of fallen leaves or several inches of loose hay, pine needles, or straw.

After the ground is frozen and plants are dormant, apply dormant oil spray to roses, shrubs, trees, and vines that were damaged by mealybugs, scale insects, or spider mites the previous season. Be sure to spray into cracks where pests and their eggs lie hidden. Do this on a day when temperatures are above freezing, and don't spray oil-sensitive evergreens, such as cedar, Japanese cryptomeria, Douglas fir, and juniper.

To keep moisture-sensitive cactus and succulents from rotting, shield them with plastic milk jugs that have their lids removed and bottoms cut off. Secure a jug with a garden stake stuck through the top and into the soil, taking care not to spear the plant. …

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