2012 JANUARY GARDEN CHORES

GARDEN PATCH POINTERS
By Robert H. and Hoberley Schuler

2012 JANUARY GARDEN CHORES

Gardening Chores for January can keep you busy when the sun shines and on rainy days as well. Holidays are over, and gardeners are clutching their pruners and are eyeing their shovels with an itchy foot eager to start digging into the soil. Don’t start to turn over the garden soil until you are able to take a fist full of soil, squeeze it and it crumbles easily when it hits the ground. During damp days you can prune and if the weather is really bad, stay in and finish ordering your seeds for planting. Of course you can always pull the ever present weeds!

2012 GROWING RESOLUTIONS

GARDEN PATCH POINTERS
By Robert and Hoberley Schuler

2012 GROWING RESOLUTIONS

I am looking forward to a New Year! Take time to make some gardening resolutions today!

Promise to keep a Diary of your garden activities, which could include pruning, planting, and any pesticide use. You will appreciate these notes in the years ahead.

Promise to study the new seed catalogs you have received and to place your orders soon. You can get a head start with seeds that require warmer weather by planting indoors under lights. A fluorescent shop light works well, especially with a grow light or two different kinds of fluorescent bulbs.

This is your annual warning as you start to prune trees!!!

GARDEN PATCH POINTERS
Robert H. and Hoberley Schuler, Master Gardeners

This is your annual warning as you start to prune trees!!!

Q: We need to prune some of our trees throughout the yard to bring in more light during the winter months. Can the tops be removed as well as the longer side branches?

A: Don’t Top Trees!

SLOW-RELEASE FERTILIZERS

GARDEN PATCH POINTERS
By Robert H. and Hoberley Schuler

SLOW-RELEASE FERTILIZERS

2011 DECEMBER ACTIVITIES

GARDEN PATCH POINTERS
By Robert H. and Hoberley Schuler

2011 DECEMBER ACTIVITIES

Shorter days, possibility of rain, colder mornings, possible snow in the higher locations, and the activities of the Holidays tend to put gardening on the back burner. There are many gardening activities that can be done inside, such as making certain that your favorite new 2011 seed and plant catalogs have arrived. Then you can take advantage of sunny, warmer day when it arrives, tempting us to spend it outdoors!

WINTER SWEET PEAS

GARDEN PATCH POINTERS
By Robert H. and Hoberley Schuler

WINTER SWEET PEAS

Q: Can I still plant sweet peas this late in the year? What variety would you recommend? Steve Conway, Modesto

Hydrangea Sapphire Dragon Tree

GARDEN PATCH POINTERS
By Robert H. and Hoberley Schuler

The Hydrangea, macrophylla, is widely used in our area. It comes from Japan, has an asymmetrically rounded growth habit, growing 4-6 feet high and as wide. It does well as a landscape shrub or in a container. The eastern side of the house is usually the best location, to avoid the hot afternoon sun. This plant likes a well drained, porous soil, feed periodically with a balanced fertilizer. The plant can be pruned just above a node, remembering that next year’s flowers will grow on the new growth of the old stems. To get the biggest flower clusters, reduce the number of stems per plant; for numerous medium and smaller clusters, keep more stems.

CULINARY SAGES & SALVIAS

GARDEN PATCH POINTERS
by Robert H. and Hoberley Schuler

CULINARY SAGES & SALVIAS

Culinary Sages

The holidays are almost upon us, and nothing says “holidays” as much as the traditional turkey dinner. Would the turkey stuffing be as fragrant and delicious without the assistance of the humble sage?

Onions

GARDEN PATCH POINTERS
By Robert H. and Hoberley Schuler

ONIONS (Allium cepa)

With so many varieties of onions to choose from, it is important to know their growing conditions. Common environmental conditions affecting plant growth are temperature, nutrients, water, sunlight, pests and air quality. The proper development of onions in the fall requires seeds or plants of a “short day” lengths variety such as Grano, Granex, California Early Red or Crystal White Wax (white Bermuda). Yellow or white Spanish and Globe are “long day” varieties for “spring” planting.

Princess Plant

GARDEN PATCH POINTERS
By Robert and Hoberley Schuler

Princess Plant

Q: I bought a princess plant with beautiful purple blue flowers. It grew a little this past
summer but my neighbor’s has doubled in size.  What should I do to make it grow?
Georgia Radcliff, Bay Area

A: Your “Princess Flower,” Tibouchina urvilleana, is a Brazilian tropical shrub growing 10 to 18 feet tall, likes moderate watering, warmth and to be sheltered from strong breezes and freezing conditions. The plant likes a slightly acid soil, which could be your problem.

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