December Garden Calendar

gardening basics

" Keep an ear tuned for extreme weather conditions, so you have time to protect tender perennials and container plants.

" If you save your wood ash for the garden, you should know it can raise soil pH slightly and add the minerals calcium, potassium and magnesium to the soil. But too much will create an imbalance, especially with potassium. Master gardeners recommend spreading no more than 10 to 15 pounds of ash in a 1,000 foot area.

indoors

" While you're decorating the tree, give the houseplants some attention. It's a great time to clean off their leaves, or even provide a full shower with tepid water. When they're dry, dress them up with a string of mini-lights.

" Poinsettias should be kept away from air vents and opening doors.

" Tender perennials that you overwinter indoors should be kept in a place with a light source (like a window) and where the temperature stays above freezing. Check to make sure plants do not dry out, but water only sparingly until growth begins in the spring.

kitchen and orchard

" Dig and divide rhubarb, a job necessary about once every four years.

" Inventory your seeds. Toss any moldy ones and those over three years old. The best storage place is in a jar kept in the refrigerator, but at minimum make sure seeds are truly dry before packing.

" Peaches, nectarines and almonds are all affected by a fungus commonly known as peach leaf curl. Southern Oregon Extension Service recommends you spray with copper or lime sulfur this month and again in January. Check with the extension if you have questions. (See "opportunities" for office hours.)

ornamental garden

" It's still a good time to transplant. Take as much of the root mass as possible, and make sure to treat the plant with extra water for the first year in its new home.

" Watch for rodent damage at the base of trees and shrubs"¦ they like to burrow under plants. Jackson County Vector Control offers free rat traps and poison at its office: 555 Mosquito Lane, in Central Point. Call 779-6460.

opportunities

" The Master Gardener plant clinic is open for questions and insect identification on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the extension center, 569 Hanley Road, Central Point. Call 776-7371.

" Natural wreath making is offered at North Mountain Park, 1-3 p.m., Dec. 5 and 6. Or go to the park for a Natural Holiday Crafts class, with dream pillows, cat toys, corn husk angels and more. The class is especially for ages 9 to 14. Offered 3:15 to 5:15 p.m., Dec. 17. Both classes are $7; call 488-6606 for information.

" Caring For Garden Tools in All Seasons. Tips on how to care for your garden tools year round, with emphasis on the end of the gardening season care, will be covered. Sharpening of garden tools will also be included. Thursday, Dec. 11 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Grange Co-op see correction below

The location listed was incorrect. The workshop will be held at the extension center auditorium, 569 Hanley Road, Central Point.


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