Winter gardening

Ray Baird

CHICKWEED: THE ANNOYING CHOKER WEED OF WINTER Chickweed is a creepy weed pest that seems to thrive in winter. This weed seems to survive best around rose bushes for some unknown reason. They uusally sprout and grow where other weeds don’t grow. If chickweeds have any good qualities about them, its the fact that they dont have a deep root system and that makes it easy to pull up and get rid of.

MONDAY WILL BE A CELEBRATION of “Plow Monday” A very unusual day that ocurs on the Monday after the Day of Ephphany which was last Wednesday, January 6, 2016. It is not necessarily a day of plowing, because in many areas of New England the ground is frozen. The day is celebrated because farmers celebrate the end of the long Christmas holiday and now get back to the chores and business of farming. Their work days now return to twelve hours, from dawn to dusk. A farmers work is never done!

THE ROSE BUSHES IN WINTER The roses may look drab, liefless and frozen, but they are very much alive. Keep an eye on them this month and keep mulch pulled up to them but don’t pile any around the root graft. Trim along canes to prevent ice and snow damage. remove all spend blooms and hips. This will improve their appearance in the dead of winter.

PLANNING A YEAR OF FOUR O’CLOCK BEAUTY The year of 2016 can be bewautiful and colorful when you plant a packet or two or four o’clocks in the bed or garden. Theya re easy to grow and produce well in all types of soil with no special care. They have pretty green foliage and flowers in colors of re, white, pnk, yellow as well as spekled and shaded varietires. Most packets cost less that two dollars. Four o’clocks will bloom from late mmay all the way around until the first frost.

A CURE FOR THE DRAB WINTER AFTERNOON Winter afternoons dant have to be dull because they can be spent searching for just the right valentine, even though Valentine’s Day is over a month away. Who knows what kind of nasty weather February can bring? The stores are well-stocked for the valentine holiday and you can choose from candies, clothing, flowers, gift cards, restaurant coupons and much more. Dont forget the gift of music in the form of cd’s and itunes for the kids and grandkids. While spending the day, visit the garden departments and garden shops to see new garden offerings. remember see and garden tools will also make great valentine gifts. Even if you dont purchase anything, you will get excercise!

THE EVERGREEN OF THE CAROLINA JASMINE In the winter garden, the Carolina Jasmine remains evergreen and thick with foliage and the sweet scent of yellow blooms. The jasmine is tough and winter hardy and muich like a hedge. The growth can be trimmed and shaped to form the pattern you desire. The Jasmine develops long runners and all you hae to do is cut them or shape them.

CHRISTMAS CACTUS AND FERN CHECK The Christmas cactus has now bloomed and the old blossoms are removed as the cactus spends the winter in the sunny living room. it now needs a shot of liquid fertilizer and a drink of water every week. The asparagus and panda fern only need to be trimmed once a month as well as giving them a drink of water each week and a shot of fertilizer.

JANUARAY SNOW OR NO SNOW? It is anyone’s guess whether January wull bea big snow month. As snow lovers, we hope we receive a few snows. It will certainly give the garden plot a nice boost and kill the wintering insect population as well. It will also excited the kids and give them a break from school. Snow is also good for the lawn as it pushes moisture into the soil and causes the ground to freeze. It makes the collards tender adn the onions larger. A small peice of winter weather lore says that when a January snow weights down the branches of the mighty oak,a good harvest can be expected in the garden plot the rest of they year.

PLENTY OF WINTER NIP ON THE FRONT PORCH We love the porch on a winter evening as darkness creeps across the horizon and the crisp winter breezes cause mist from the nostrils. A coat and a blanket for comfort makes the breeze bearable and evening stars begin to appear in the clear sky as the constellation of Orion makes his appearance in the eastern sky. The birds quickly fly back and forth for a last snack and a drink of water. Winter, like all other seasons, is a time to appreciate all in its wonder adn beauty.

TIME TO PURCHASE A NEW SHOVEL We can expect a snow anytime now and now is the time to pick out a new shovel so you will be ready for the snow when it arrives.

Ray Baird has been providing gardening tips to the community for years and can be reached at 336-969-9350 or at

Ray Baird

comments powered by Disqus