• January: Propagating Succulents

    Many succulents produce baby plants (pups) around the mother plant.  To grow plants from these pups, pull the soil back from the plant to cut the pup off where it joins the mother plant.  Leave the pup exposed to the air for a couple of days so that the bottom develops a callus.  Pot up by setting the stem of the pup into a suitable growing medium.   Leave room to cover the growing medium with a layer of gritty material.  Water for the first time after 3 days.

  • January: Check On Stored Bulbs, Rhizomes and Tubers

    Once a month throughout the winter, check to make sure that your stored dahlias, cannas and the like are not rotting or drying out,.

  • January: Call an Arborist

    Winter is the right time to have a diseased or dangerous tree removed. Arborists are less busy at this time of year and there is no foliage to obscure their view. They will perform their work on a day when the weather is calm and the tree is not covered in ice.

  • January: When the Amaryllis Bloom Is Finished

    Now that your amaryllis bulb has finished blooming and you have cut off the spent flower stock at its base, continue to water the bulb and allow the foliage to grow.  The foliage is taking in nourishment for the bulb.  When the foliage turns yellow (which should not  be for a couple of months), cut it off.  Store the bulb in a cool dark place until it can be planted in the garden in the spring after the risk of frost is over.

  • January: Checking for Problems

    Every time you water your houseplants, check them for problems.  Look at both the top side and the underside of leaves.  Check the edges and tips of the leaves.  Lightly scratch the soil surface.  Gently brush your plant.  A problem that is spotted in its early stages is easier to fix than one that is allowed to fester.

  • December: Cyclamens

     

    If cyclamens are given their preferred conditions – cool and bright indirect light – they can bloom for several months.  Keep them evenly moist by watering from the bottom.  Watering from the top could result in the crown rotting.  Feed with a 15-30-15 or similar  plant food once every four weeks.

  • December: Caring For Your Poinsettia

     

    Poinsettias are sensitive to cold so protect them well as you move them from the store to home.  Once home, place them away from all drafts – warm and cold.  They prefer to be situated in a place where they receive indirect for at least 6 hours a day.  Water when the soil feels dry to the touch.  Be sure that they don’t sit in water.

  • December: Maintaining Your Gardening Tools

     

    If you have not already done so, spend some time in your garden shed looking after your garden tools.  Clean and sharpen the blades of your digging and cutting tools.  Dry them completely and spray them lightly with a light oil.   Not only will your tools be ready for spring, but you will get a little gardening ‘pick me up’.

  • December: Prepare for Winter Winds

    Now that the leaves are gone, take a walk around your garden with your saw or loppers, removing damaged or hanging branches that might cause further damage to your trees when battered by winter winds.

  • December: Forcing Paperwhites

    Paperwhites can be grown in either water or soil.  If using water, place a 4-6 cm layer of stone or glass chips on the bottom of a container.  Nestle the bulbs (flat bottom side down, pointed end up) into the stone so that the top third of the bulb is exposed.  Add water to just below the bottom of the bulb.  Place the container in a sunny spot until the leaves and buds develop – turn the container daily to get even growth.  Move out of direct sunlight once the buds begin to open.