WINTER TIPS FOR OKLAHOMA GARDENS
Tree & Shrubs
Select a freshly cut Christmas tree. Make a new cut prior to placing in tree stand. Add water daily.
Live Christmas trees are a wise investment, as they become permanent additions to the landscape after the holidays.
Light prunings of evergreens can be used for holiday decorations. Be careful with sap that can mar surfaces.
Fruits & Nuts
Cover strawberry plants with a mulch about 3-4 inches thick if plants are prone to winter injury. (HLA-6214)
Wait to prune fruit trees until late February or March. (HLA-6228)
Apply winter mulch to protect rose bush bud unions and other perennials. Wait until after several early freezes or you will give insects a good place to winter.
Poinsettias must have at least six hours of bright, indirect light daily. Keep plants away from drafts. (HLA-6413)
Watch for and control pests on indoor houseplants. (HLA-6411)
Make sure indoor plants are receiving enough light or set up an indoor fluorescent plant light. (HLA-6411)
Lawn & Turf
Remove leaves from cool-season grasses or mow with a mulching mower. (HLA-6420)
Continue mowing cool-season lawns on a regular basis. (HLA-6420)
Continue to control broadleaf weeds in well-established warm- or cool-season lawns with a post-emergent broadleaf weed killer. (HLA-6421)
Keep all plants watered during dry conditions even though some may be dormant. Irrigate all plantings at least 24 hours before hard-freezing weather if soil is dry. (HLA-6404)
Order gardening supplies for next season.
Now is a great time to design and make structural improvements in your garden and landscape. (HLA-6425, HLA-6440, HLA-6441)
Send for mail-order catalogs if you are not already on their mailing lists.
Christmas gift ideas for the gardener might include tools, garden books, magazine subscriptions or membership to The Botanic Garden at OSU. (http://botanicgarden.okstate.edu).
Clean and fill bird feeders.
Till garden plots without a cover crop to further expose garden pests to harsh winter conditions.
Visit your county extension office to obtain gardening fact sheets for the new gardening season.
Join a horticulture, plant or urban forestry society and support community “greening” or “beautification” projects.
Review your garden records so you can correct past mistakes. Purchase a new gardening journal or calendar to keep the New Year’s gardening records.
If precipitation has been deficient (1” of snow = ~ 1/10” of water), water lawns, trees, and shrubs, especially broadleaf and narrowleaf evergreens. Double check moisture in protected or raised planters.
Check on supplies of pesticides. Secure a copy of current recommendations and post them in a convenient place. Dilution and quantity tables are also useful.
Check that gardening tools and equipment are in good repair—sharpen, paint, and repair mowers, edgers, sprayers, and dusters.
Inspect your irrigation system and replace worn or broken parts. (HLA-6615)
Control overwintering insects on deciduous trees or shrubs with dormant oil sprays applied when the temperature is above 40°F in late fall and winter. Do not use “dormant” oils on evergreens. (EPP-7306)
A product containing glyphosate plus a post-emergent broadleaf herbicide can be used on dormant bermudagrass in January or February when temperatures are above 50°F for winter weed control. (HLA-6421)
Trees & Shrubs
Fertilize trees, including fruit and nut trees and shrubs, according to a soil test. (HLA-6412)
Most bare-rooted trees and shrubs should be planted in February or March. (HLA-6414)
Finish pruning shade trees, summer flowering shrubs and hedges. Spring blooming shrubs such as forsythia may be pruned immediately after flowering. Do not top trees or prune just for the sake of pruning. (HLA-6409)
Look for arborvitae aphids on many evergreen shrubs during the warmer days of early spring.
Gall-producing insects on oaks, pecans, hackberries, etc. need to be sprayed prior to bud break of foliage.
Dormant oil can still be applied to control mites, galls, overwintering aphids, etc. (EPP‑7306)
Fruit & Nuts
Spray peaches and nectarines with a fungicide for prevention of peach leaf curl before bud swell. (EPP-7319)
Mid-February is a good time to begin pruning and fertilizing trees and small fruits.
Collect and store graftwood for grafting pecans later this spring.
Begin planting blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, asparagus and other perennial garden crops later this month.
Choose fruit varieties that have a proven track record for Oklahoma’s conditions. Fact Sheet HLA-6222 has a recommended list.
Force spring flowering branches like forsythia, quince, peach, apple, and weigela for early bloom indoors.
Forced spring bulbs should begin to bloom indoors. Many need 10-12 weeks of cold, dark conditions prior to blooming.
Feed tulips in early February.
Wait to prune roses in March.
Lawn & Turf
A product containing glyphosate plus a broadleaf herbicide can be used on dormant bermuda in January or February when temperatures are above 50 degrees F for winter weed control.
Cool-season vegetable transplants can still be started for late spring garden planting.
By February 15 many cool-season vegetables like cabbage, carrots, lettuce, peas and potatoes can be planted. (HLA-6004)
Base any plant fertilization on a soil test. For directions, contact your county Extension Educator.
Provide feed and unfrozen water for your feathered friends.
Clean up birdhouses before spring tenants arrive during the middle of this month.
Avoid salting sidewalks for damage can occur to plant material. Use alternative commercial products, sand or kitty litter for traction.