Things to do in the garden this week

Things to do in the garden this week

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• Collect scion wood now for grafting fruit trees later in spring. Wrap scions in plastic and store them in the refrigerator.

• Cut back old growth of grass-like Lilyturf (Liriope spp.) any time now. Use sharp tools. A lawn mower produces tidier results than a weed whip.

• Look for early snowdrops beginning to bloom now. Winter aconite and spring crocus follow shortly after. Plan to plant these late winter-blooming bulbs in your garden next fall.

• Learn to identify dormant trees and shrubs by studying their winter twigs, buds and bark.

• Start onion seeds indoors now.

• Use only fresh, sterile potting mixes when sowing seeds indoors to prevent seedling diseases. As soon as sprouts appear, provide ample bright light to encourage stocky growth.

• It’s not too late to plant spring-flowering bulbs. Beds where they are to go can be covered with a deep layer of mulch to keep the ground unfrozen until planting can be done.

Leaves that fall on lawns should be recycled in place, rather than collected and removed. Make several passes with the mower to shred the leaves into tiny bits small enough to fall between the grass blades. Freshly fallen leaves are loaded with nutrients that will decay and greatly benefit the lawn.

Avoid walking on lawns and garden soil to prevent compaction during long wet spells or when the ground is frozen.

Prevent snow and ice damage to evergreens by encircling their boughs for the duration of winter with a soft twine to minimize branch spreading.

Identify seedlings of cool season broadleaf weeds such as dandelion, chickweed and henbit. These spring bloomers are actively growing now and still susceptible to control. Find extensive weed information in our IPM pages online at this address: mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/ipmhostlist.asp

Sow annual ryegrass seed for a temporary “quick-fix” for bare, muddy or eroding garden areas.

• It’s not too late to plant spring-flowering bulbs. Beds where they are to go can be covered with a deep layer of mulch to keep the ground unfrozen until planting can be done.

• Leaves that fall on lawns should be recycled in place, rather than collected and removed. Make several passes with the mower to shred the leaves into tiny bits small enough to fall between the grass blades. Freshly fallen leaves are loaded with nutrients that will decay and greatly benefit the lawn.

• Avoid walking on lawns and garden soil to prevent compaction during long wet spells or when the ground is frozen.

• Prevent snow and ice damage to evergreens by encircling their boughs for the duration of winter with a soft twine to minimize branch spreading.

• Identify seedlings of cool season broadleaf weeds such as dandelion, chickweed and henbit. These spring bloomers are actively growing now and still susceptible to control. Find extensive weed information in our IPM pages online at this address: mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/ipmhostlist.asp

• Sow annual ryegrass seed for a temporary “quick-fix” for bare, muddy or eroding garden areas.

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