December Top Tips

BIRDS & WILDLIFE

• If you feed rabbits corn or alfalfa, they may leave the bark on your fruit trees unharmed.
• Continue to feed our fine feathered friends and place heated birdbaths out for fresh water.birds-cardinalswinterbranch-ws

LANDSCAPING

Sweet winter home• Use caution when spreading calcium on ice or snow packed walks and driveways. Salt can damage lawns and plantings. Be sure to designate areas to be piled with snow from plowing in advance to prevent damage to trees, shrubs and lawns.
• Perennial beds and roses should have been put to rest for winter by now. If not, cut back, clean up and mulch.

LAWN EQUIPMENT

• Clean and oil all garden hand tools before storing for the winter.
• All power equipment should be winterized before storage. Change the oil and lubricate moving parts. Either drain fuel systems or mix a gas stabilizing additive into the tank.

BULBS

• You may continue planting bulbs until frost in the ground prevents you from digging.

TREES & SHRUBS

Tree leaves with ice on them• Thoroughly water all trees, shrubs and evergreens just before the ground freezes to protect the roots from frost damage (especially evergreens). This may need to be done again if the temperature warms up and there is no snow to help insulate the ground.
• Be sure the root zones of Azaleas and Rhododendrons are thoroughly mulched. Any organic material will do, but mulches made from oak leaves, shredded oak bark or pine needles are preferred, since they are acid based products.
• Holly may be trimmed now and the prunings can be used in holiday decorations.
• Christmas trees hold needles longer if you make a clean, fresh cut at the base and always keep the trunk standing in water (preservatives to add to the water are available).
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