Winter time along the Central Coast is the perfect time for gardeners to “clean house” and prepare for spring. This leaflet provides you with some ideas on what you should be thinking about.

  1. Plant

Early spring blooming vines are available now.Hardenbergiahas lilac to violet colored blooms shaped like sweet peas. CarolinaJessaminehas bright yellow tubular flowers.

All our dormant fruit trees, berries and grapes come in plastic pots which means you can buy them now and plant them when you and your soil are ready. No hurry to plant them as with a bare root plant.

Cool season vegetable crops can be put in as seedling starts. Consider Broccoli, Cauliflower, Chard, Lettuce, Cab-bage, Bunching Onions, and Spinach as additions to your winter garden.

To get a jump on the summer vegetables start seeds indoors after mid-month. Use aHydrofarmgermination mat to warm the bottom of your seed tray to speed things up. Tomatoes, Eggplant and Peppers are popular choices.

When planting Strawberries it is recommended that you choose a location that has not had members of the Solana-ceaefamily (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants) grown in that location for at least three years. Amend the soil with Master Nursery Formula 49 and incorporate Master Nursery Master Start Fertilizer at planting time.

Spring blooming bulbs have arrived including Lilies, Dahlias, Gladiolus and other beauties. Continue to check in with us for new arrivals. Use Master Nursery Gold Rush Planting Mix and MasterBloomeBulb and Flower Fertilizer at planting time to give you the best show in size, quality and quantity of blooms.

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  1. Fertilize

Prevent the reappearance of Crabgrass in your lawn by applying Master Nursery Crabgrass Preventer plus lawn fertilizer before mid-March. Do not use it though, if you are planning on over-seeding your lawn this spring, as it will inhibit the germination of the grass seed as well.

If your lawn is weed free and you want to maintain its great green color, use Master Nursery Fall and Winter Feed.

Keep applying Master Nursery Master Bloom Food (0-10-10) to Citrus and early spring blooming shrubs like Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Camellias. When they have finished blooming and show new growth then change over to a feeding of fertilizer specifically formulated for that plant.

For Roses, start feeding mid to late February. We recommend Master Nursery Rose and Flower Food every other month.

Continue to feed your blooming annuals with MasterNurseryAIIPurpose Fertilizer.

For your vegetable garden, useGreenAIITomato and Vegetable Food (5-10-10) or the general purposeMaxseafer-tilizer(16-16-16).

For blue blooms on your Hydrangea apply Master NurseryTru-Blue Hydrangea Fertilizeronce a month until buds beginto open. If you want pink blooms use Master Nursery Master Start.

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III. Prune

Wait until the end of this month to prune hedges and screens like Boxwood,Escallonia, CherryLaurel ,Photinia,Pittosporumand Eugenia. Pruning just before spring growth makes it easier to shape them.

Ifyourhanging fuchsias have been in the same container for more than two or three years, pull them out, root prune, and replant with fresh soil. Prune the top of the plant back to the edge of the pot. For fuchsias in the ground prune the structure back to the desired size leaving two or three nodes from lastyearsgrowth, remembering that they bloom on the new growth. Remove all weak, twiggy growth and remove any of last year’s foliage. Usethe ourMaster Nursery Formula 49 fertilizer when the first sign of new growth starts.

If the weather warms towards the end of this month, cut back perennials like Salvia andPenstemonthat are over-grown .If your perennials are already showing new growth, pinch out the tips to encourage bushy, full plants.

This month is your last chance to do dormant pruning on your deciduous trees and shrubs. Wait to prune the spring bloomers until after bloom. Ask one of our Nursery Professionals about specificplants .

Remember, no matter how bad that frost damage looks on plants, wait until all danger of frostispastbeforeprun-ing,usuallyinmid-March.Thatsadlookingfoliageisactuallyhelping to protect the remaining foliage and crown .

  1. Preventative Medicine

This is your last chance for a dormant season spray. All dormant sprays should be completed before the buds start to open. Spraying open flowers will burnthem .

Peach leaf curl on Peaches and Nectarines is very common. For a dormant spray use Lilly Miller Dormant Disease Control or Lilly Miller Micro-cop withSta-stukM to control thisdisease .

Blister mite on pears is becoming more common. We recommend a dormant spray of Lilly Miller Superior type spray oil or Ultra Fine Oil to prevent them.

Set out Codling moth traps at least two weeks before apples or pear treesbloom .Pheromones attract the male moths to the traps where they becomestuck ,thus preventing them from mating. Traps alone will control up to 75% of themoths .If you have high populations of moths, the traps serve to let you know when spraying with MontereyHose’emFruit & Vegetable Insect Spray will be most needed andeffective .

Use Concern (com gluten meal) or Preen pre-emergent to prevent weed growth in your flower and shrub beds. Re-member that these products will prevent any seed from germinating. Therefore, don’t apply anywhere you want to plant seeds directly into the soil or in areas where you count on plants reseeding themselves.

Keep alert for snail and slug damage and bait or hand pick asneeded .Sluggois our safest product for use around pets andchildren .Copper tape can be used around potted plants and raised beds to keep them from climbing into these en-closedspaces .

Are birds eating all the tender new growth on your seedlings? Make a cover of Easy Gardener Plant and Seed Blanket to protect them until they get bigger.

Check your yard for standingwater and dump it out to eliminate breeding grounds formosquitoes
Don’t forget to check the saucers under pots and your bird bath. Fresh water in the birdbath once a week will stop the breeding cycle.

  1. Garden Maintenance

Control petal blight on Camellias and Azaleas by removing any affected blooms and cleaningany fallen blooms. Apply a 2″ layer of fresh mulch beneath Camellias to cut down on the survival of any spores. If blight is still apparent, spray with one of our fungicides.

Clean up any garden debris this month to prevent the spread of any over-wintering insects or diseases.

Winter Gardening, you know what that means! Its almost time to get a Christmas tree! Here is a video that may help you choose and care for your Christmas tree:

Click here to download the PDF!

 

How To Care And Select a Christmas Tree