The holiday season is here — begun with a grateful counting of our many blessings on Thanksgiving — and for most of us, that means longer “to-do” lists. Does your list include tending to outdoor matters at home? If so, we hope to help with the following tips for December lawn and garden care.
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.
December usually means drier weather in Central Florida, so be sure to adequately water your plants, especially the budding variety. For indoor plants, though, take care that you don’t water too much. Annuals and vegetables should be fed lightly with a quality fertilizer every two weeks or so this time of year.
Prune your mature trees and shrubs when they are most dormant, usually in December or January. 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 2014 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 2015.
column by WILLIAM “BILL” DOTY
BIO: William R. “Bill” Doty is the 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.