University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Posts Tagged ‘winter garden’

10 Tips for the January Gardener

house sparrow

 

  1. 2015 was a banner year for gypsy moth caterpillars in Connecticut. Check for tan gypsy moth egg masses on tree trunks and branches, scrape or brush off and destroy.
  2. When you are finished with holiday evergreen boughs, use them to mulch tender perennials and shrubs.
  3. Inspect stored bulbs, tubers and corms for rot or infestation. Discard those showing signs of decay or insect damage.
  4. Review garden catalogs for new vegetable varieties to try. Consider varieties with improved insect and/or disease resistance and drought-tolerant types.
  5. Winter is a good time to sign up for gardening classes or seminars offered by many garden centers, town recreation offices, or the UConn Master Gardener Program.
  6. Feed the birds regularly and see that they have water. Birds like suet, fruit, nuts and breadcrumbs as well as birdseed.
  7. Protect your young fruit trees from hungry mice that can chew the bark off at the soil line. Keep mulch several inches from trunks to keep the mice from hiding under it or consider putting wire-screen mouse guards around the trunks of the trees.
  8. When using salt to melt ice on walks and driveways, spread it carefully to avoid damage to nearby shrubs. Consider using sand or sawdust instead.
  9. Houseplants also will benefit from fertilizer applications once or twice this winter.
  10. Seasonal decorations of poinsettia or cyclamen will continue to bloom with proper care. Keep the soil moist but remove foil wrapping to allow the water to drain out. Place your plant in a cool (60 to 65 degrees F) location that gets plenty of light.

For more information, please visit the UConn Home & Garden Education Center or call 1-877-486-6271.

 

10 Tips for the February Gardener

Bluebird-Maryland

  1. Visit our booth at the 2015 CT Flower and Garden Show, February 19th-22nd, at the Connecticut Convention Center. Bring ½ cup of soil for a free pH test and your gardening questions for free advice.
  1. Provide houseplants with increased humidity by misting often or placing plants over a tray of moist pebbles. Clean the leaves of smooth-leaved plants like dracaena, philodendron, and ficus of dust.
  1. Purchase seed flats, containers, and peat pellets. Make your own seed starter mix by combining equal parts of sphagnum peat moss, perlite and vermiculite.
  1. If you start your seeds under fluorescent lights check the ends of the tubes for dark rings. This is a sign of aging and they should be replaced. Dispose of the used tubes properly.
  1. Start slow growers such as celery, leek, or onion transplants. This is also a good time to start petunias and begonias. Consider using pelletized seed.
  1. Check any plants that are being overwintered in the cellar or garage to see if they need water. If the soil is frozen they may need to be moved to a slightly warmer location.
  1. Birdwatchers – if you missed Cornell’s Great Backyard Bird Count, Feb 13 – 16th, visit http://gbbc.birdcount.org – you can still enter data through February 28th.
  1. Look for tan gypsy moth egg masses on tree trunks and branches. Scrape or brush off the masses to remove them and then destroy them.
  1. Check on perennials, adding mulch if needed.
  1. Turn the compost pile during any stretches of mild weather.

For more information visit the UConn Home & Garden Education Center.