Ag picture

Trees & Shrubs
- If planting or transplanting, make sure to minimize air pockets in soil around root ball. Water is most critical to newly planted material.
- Plants can still be mulched-no more that 2-3 inches.
- Planting of conifers and broad-leaved evergreens should wait until early spring.
- There is still time to install protective barriers for cold sensitive plants.
- Wrap the trunks of newly planted trees and think barked plants to prevent frost-cracking.
- Protect plants susceptible to animal damage-wire cage or protective collar.

Flowers-herbaceous perennials, biennials, annuals
- Bulbs can be planted as long as the ground is not frozen, sooner the better.
- Perennials should be mulched with shredded leaves, straw or other organic mulches.
- Make sure existing plantings of herbaceous perennials and biennials are labeled to minimize damage when digging next spring.
- Clean and store the tender bulbs if not already done.
- Remove all annuals when cleaning up beds.

Lawns
- Mow for the final time if weather remains warm.
- Remove leaves from the grass and if possible, compost them.
- Winterize lawn equipment.
- Avoid seeding lawns at this time.

Vegetable Garden
- Final clean-up work should be done.
- Clean all tools and store for winter.
- Mulch overwintering herbs and vegetables with a few inches of salt hay, straw or other organic mulches.
- Begin planning for next year-s garden.
- A great time to start looking at seed catalogs.

Indoor Plants - Monitor plants for insects if brought in from outside. Most common problems are scale, mealybugs, and spider mites. Insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils (refer to label for houseplants) are effective controls for these problems.
- Use tepid water to water plants.
- Grow slows down so avoid normal fertilization practices until mid- to late winter.
- Maintain or increase humidity by using a humidifier or open trays of water.
- Keep holiday plants away from cool drafts and heat sources.
- Regularly monitor the moisture around the base of fresh holiday trees. Initially, trees may need water once or twice daily.

If Plants Could Talk features gardening tips from local university experts, successful farmers, master gardeners, and many other plant experts. Topics include new and interesting plant varieties, safe and effective pest control, step-by-step cultural tips for landscape and garden, and visits to local farms, arboretums, and backyard gardens.

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This Month's Feature
Plant Talk
Plant Talk
Bill Hlubik's weekly article for 5/22/2008
Christmas Tree Tips
Christmas Tree Tips
Join Lindsay Holladay as she gives us tips for selecting a tree and keeping it fresh all season long.
Christmas Tree Farms
Christmas Tree Farms
Complete listing of Jersey Fresh Christmas Tree Growers in your area.
Poinsettia Care Tips
Poinsettia Care Tips
Visit Dr. George Wulster at the Floriculture Research Greenhouse as he reveals new poinsettia cultivars and tips to keep them healthy.
The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park
Environmental Requirements of Christmas Plants
RCE fact sheet that describes what can be accomplished to help prevent deer damage.