The holiday period, in Central Florida and beyond, provides an interesting contrast. As human activity picks up, activity in nature slows down. Dormancy time— it’s here for some plant varieties and soon will be for others— is opportunity time for the gardener and landscaper.[emember_protected custom_msg=”Click here and register now to read the rest of the article!”]
Think about planting dormant trees and shrubs now so they’ll have good root development when the new buds of spring arrive.
Prune your mature trees and shrubs when they are most dormant. Plants like rose bushes, peach trees, grape vines, and crape myrtles won’t produce properly if they aren’t pruned back during their most inactive period, either in December or January.
It’s also a good time to plant hardy winter vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, spinach, carrots, and turnip greens. Vegetables and annuals should be fed lightly with quality fertilizer every two weeks or so this time of year.
December is usually dry in this part of the country, so adequately water your plants, especially those that bud in the late fall and early winter. For indoor plants, though, be sure you don’t water too much.
If you’re stumped for gift ideas for the holidays, consider gifts that keep giving long after the celebrations are over. Suggestions include gardening tools and books, sprayers, hanging baskets, and blooming plants.
As we close out 2013, I wish you and your family a merry Christmas, a safe New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and a healthy and prosperous 2014.
column by WILLIAM “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 our readers monthly. [/emember_protected]