Winter To Do List For Pools And Plants

Coldframes and greenhouses – These structures, while not elaborate, can play a vital part in an active garden program. November is a good month to build or repair them. Both structures are similar in construction, but vary in heat requirements. A hot bed has some type of generated heat, but a coldframe depends on the sun.

The size of the structure will vary, depending on the amount of space and the cost. Several new plastics make good covers for these, and the price of construction is declining each year. Tender perennials can be stored in these for the winter and new plants started weeks ahead of regular schedule in the spring. If you have never tried your hand with a hotbed or greenhouse, do so and you will receive untold pleasure from the experience.

Flowering shrubs – This group of plants needs only corrective pruning to improve the habit of growth or remove crossing and rubbing limbs. Flower buds are already formed for next season’s bloom and pruning will remove valuable bloom wood. It is advisable to dig in two cupfuls of bone meal or other slow-acting food so it will be available as growth begins in early spring.

This group of shrubs needs a ready supply of food, as the blooms push out. With young trees it may be necessary to enclose the trunk from ground level to a height of 12 inches with heavy wire mesh to prevent damage from rodents ‘that chew off the bark in search of food. This is especially important in sections where snow is present for any length of time, particularly in new developments on the outskirts of towns.

House plants – Take cuttings of some of the garden plants like the dracaena lemon lime and start in pots for use in the garden next year. A few forced bulbs in this display will add color and interest. If your water supply has a high concentration of salts, it will be wise to catch rainwater and use for watering.

Miscellaneous – Mulch the pansies set out last month with pulverized manure and you may still put out pansies for winter color. Pansies have a remarkable recovery ability even when frozen back to the growing points. Lawns have stopped growing, but should go into winter at a height of two inches. Be careful in making lawn repairs during the winter months as lawn grasses will smother if covered very deep.

Maintain the water level in pools and water features. It is wise to cut off fountains and intricate displays of water to protect them from freezing. Ground pools will be all right, because of the heat from the soil. Remove old canes from lilacs and mulch heavily with well-rotted cow manure.

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