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Cannon: This season, fertilize some and prune others
A common question asked of the Hall County Extension office, brought to you by Wanda Cannon
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What can I do to keep my yard and plants healthy through the winter?

Now is the time to fertilize your pansies, snapdragons and ornamental kale and cabbage with a fertilizer high in nitrogen. This will help them grow and bloom in the cold soil.

Now is a good time to prune evergreen shrubbery. Bring the cuttings indoors and use them for holiday decorations! Water the trees and shrubs you planted in the fall; evergreens in particular need about 1 gallon per foot of height.

If your fescue grass is looking a little yellow, fertilize now with a high-nitrogen fertilizer.

Prune short stems and dead limbs from trees since all of the leaves are gone. Plant woody vines such as Cross Vine and Carolina Jessamine now. Just make sure you plant them near a sturdy fence, gate or arbor. Spread pine straw on top of your bulb plantings; this will keep bulb foliage from emerging too soon.

Mulch around trees but leave about 6 inches away from the trunk.

Consider your houseplants. Keep holiday plants in the coolest indoor area possible. Houseplants do not need many nutrients in the water, but water only when the soil feels dry 1 inch deep. Move houseplants such as ficus trees to a well-lit area of the house.

If you are going to holiday parties, buy a house plant such as ornamental pepper, Christmas cactus and amaryllis as a hostess gift. This will be appreciated for weeks to come.

Now that the list has been checked twice, have yourself a green merry Christmas!

Thanks to WalterReeves.com seasonal calendar.

Wanda Cannon is a Master Gardener trained through the Hall County program and also serves as Master Gardener coordinator and horticulture assistant for the Hall County Extension office. Phone: 770-535-8293.

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