End of Year Chores

End of 2016 Garden Chores

End of year chores.

Another year has gone by, they just seem to get shorter and shorter every year! It has been quite a warm winter as well. With that in mind, there are still plenty of chores to do around the yard. It is now time to rake those leaves that have taken their time to fall this winter.

End of 2016 Garden Chores

At the time this was written I still have a beautiful red oak in its’ full red glory, but I am sure this will change soon. Please try to reuse or compost any leaves if possible.

The fallen leaves make a great addition to poor starving soils and may help reduce winter weed growth, as well as retain moisture.  If any plants or trees have shown signs of disease or insects it is best to discard those leaves as it may pose a threat of spreading into next years’ growth.

You may do some light pruning at this time. Keep in mind the best rule of thumb is to have a reason for every cut that you make. In other words, will it keep its’ natural shape? Is this branch or limb diseased?  Is it in the way of a view or walk-way? Will the tree or shrub still have “balance” after removal? Do not prune just for the sake of pruning!

If your landscape looks a bit bleak, you may consider planting something that keeps its leaves all year long. Shopping at a garden center during the winter may help your garden a bit more interesting during the coldest months. There are plenty of “evergreen” or plants that keep leaves during this time of year that will also add some color to your lot.  Trees such as Magnolia, Live Oak, Pine, or Eucalyptus can add some substance to larger areas.

Magnolia tree las cruces
Magnolia Tree

End of 2016 Garden Chores

Shrubs such as Nandina, Kaleidoscope Abelia, Emerald n Gold euonymus, Emerald Gaiety euonymus, provide purplish reds to reddish orange hues during the winter chill. Evergreens such as juniper, Xylosma, wax leaf privet, and euonymus will provide basic green during the frigid temps. Other evergreens such as

Emerald Gaiety euonymus
Nandina Domestica

Other evergreens such as Nandina, Kaleidoscope Abelia, Emerald n Gold euonymus, Emerald Gaiety euonymus, provide purplish reds to reddish orange hues during the winter chill. Evergreens such as juniper, Xylosma, wax leaf privet, and euonymus will provide basic green during the frigid temps.

There is also the pyracantha, holly, yaupon holly, dwarf yaupon holly that will not only provide winter green but will also provide orange or red berries to boot. Winter greens such as abelia, oleander and, raphiolepsis (Indian Hawthorn), will give you green during winter and will have flowers during the regular growing season.

End of 2016 Garden Chores
The Pyracantha Plant – Red Berries

What About Junipers and Arborvitae?

Juniper and arborvitae can also add low maintenance greenery and are available in a wide range of colors from green to blue and in sizes from small ground cover to larger upright specimens. Once established these become

End of 2016 Garden Chores
Arborvitiae

Juniper and arborvitae can also add low maintenance greenery and are available in a wide range of colors from green to blue and in sizes from small ground cover to larger upright specimens. Once established these become very drought tolerant especially during the winter months.

You can get a good jump start on the upcoming spring by planting during this time of year. It requires less watering and the weather is much friendlier than the hot dry spring winds we usually go through. So get out there and enjoy our beautiful Southwestern sun!

Please don’t forget to mulch your cut Christmas tree with the city.

By Gary Guzman

 

Gary Guzman Owner of Color Your World and Guzman’s Greenhouse in Las Cruces.

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