THE HOLIDAYS have started, and for most of us that means longer “to-do” lists. Does your list include tending to your lawn and garden? If so, we offer help with the following tips and recommendations.
December means drier weather in Central Florida most years, so be sure to keep your plants watered — the budding variety in particular. For indoor plants, make sure you don’t water too much. Also make sure you lightly feed annuals and vegetables with a quality fertilizer every two weeks or so this time of year.
This is a good time to plant hardy winter vegetables (broccoli, turnip greens, cabbage, and carrots, for example), as well as dormant trees and shrubs. You do this now so the plants will have good root development when spring arrives.
Pruning also comes to mind for this time of year for your mature trees and shrubs when they are most dormant. Plants like crape myrtles, rose bushes, peach trees, and grape vines won’t produce properly if they aren’t pruned back during their most inactive period.
If you need help with Christmas gift ideas, consider gardening gifts — the kind that are useful and appreciated throughout the year. Suggestions include gardening tools and how-to guides, sprayers, hanging baskets, and blooming plants. If you’re an early gift-giver, festive poinsettia plants make great gifts now.
With 2015 almost in the history books, I want to wish you and your family a merry Christmas, a safe New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016.
column by BILL DOTY
BIO: William R. “Bill” Doty is owner of Doty Farm and Garden Supply Inc., founded in Winter Haven in 1954. Bill graduated from Winter Haven High School and Florida State University. Growing up, he learned valuable lessons in listening and asking questions and was a student of the family business. Bill shares his knowledge with his customers daily and with the readers of Central Florida Ag News monthly.