Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Inland Northwest, High Desert

December, 2000
Regional Report

Cutting Evergreen Boughs

Cut evergreen boughs for holiday decorations just as you would make any other pruning cut. Cut the bough close to the branch and never leave a stub. Pruning evergreens such as pines and cedars now won't cause new growth to start due to the cold winter temperatures.

Easter Cactus Care

While Christmas cactus are blooming their hearts out, spring-blooming Easter cactus need some attention too. Reduce watering your spring-blooming cactus now to help them set flower buds. In February, start watering them normally again and add a water-soluble fertilizer every other time you water. By March you can enjoy the flowers.

Use Alternative Birdbath in Winter

If you\'re worried about your birdbath being damaged during the winter, turn a plastic garbage can lid upside down and fill it for your feathered friends. Birds need water. Try to add water regularly, especially when temperatures dip below freezing and natural water sources freeze. Consider installing a birdbath deicer that is thermostatically controlled.

Holiday Tree Care

Never let a fresh-cut holiday tree's reservoir run dry. Check it daily. A fresh-cut tree can easily drink 2 gallons of water in a week. After the holidays, cut up the tree and place the boughs over plants to protect them or place the tree outside as a place for small birds to hide.

Last Grass Mowing

Believe it or not, you can still cut the grass in some areas of our region. To make the last cut, wait for a warm morning and then drag a hose across the grass to knock off the moisture. Let the grass dry in the morning sun for a few hours, then mow. Leave the clippings on the lawn.


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