WORKS IN THE GARDEN AT THE BEGINNING OF WINTER
December is the first winter month. But this is not a reason to forget about the garden until spring.
There are things to do for amateur gardeners at any time of the year.
December can be pretty unpredictable. Either frost will hit in the absence of snow, then the snow will pass and the thaw will begin. If it is frozen, but there is no snow, it threatens that the root system of trees and shrubs may suffer from the cold. Some experts advise shoveling snow from the row-spacing of the garden and transferring it to the trunks of fruit trees. However, we do not recommend doing this. Indeed, in the aisles there are active roots of fruit trees, which are more sensitive to low temperatures than large conducting roots. While the crown can withstand a drop in temperature to minus 30-35 °, the root system can die even at minus 15 °.
Active roots, most of which are outside the crown at a depth of 15-20 cm, in the absence of snow cover can be damaged even by slight negative temperatures. That is why you should not remove snow from the aisles of the garden. It is better to take it from the paths, from the roadway, or bring it from outside the garden area.
STRAWBERRY PLANTS can be covered with branches of forest trees and shrubs, inedible for rodents (poplar, birch, linden, aspen), or spruce branches. These branches contribute to the accumulation of snow over the plantings (the wind does not blow it off).
When insulating the beds with strawberries, try to form the height of the snow cover at least 25-30 cm. Do not add snow in wet weather. After all, wet snow quickly compresses and will not retain heat. But even a small layer of loose fluffy snow serves as a good protection from low temperatures.
If, in sunny weather, you walk through the garden and carefully examine the crowns of your fruit trees, you may notice dried leaves on the branches, folded and entwined with cobwebs, or egg-laying on branches and trunks. Garden pests hibernate here. Even if they are few, they can do serious damage right away when spring comes.
In the nests of the dried leaves, the caterpillars of the hawthorn winter, which are in dense cocoons. Aphids overwinter in the stage of eggs, which are laid on the bark of branches. Leafworm moths lay their eggs in the form of small plaques, colored to match the color of the bark. Caterpillars of the codling moth find
a refuge under old dead bark and in cracks in tree trunks. If you find pest nests, remove them immediately, and also collect the fruits remaining on the branches. If they are high, use a long stick or slingshot.
IN THE BEGINNING OF WINTER, be sure to prepare cuttings for spring grafting, if you plan to carry it out. Don't delay it. If severe frosts come, they can damage the kidneys. Cuttings are harvested when the temperature drops to minus 5-10 ° for 7-10 days. During this time, one-year increments, which are used for grafting, have time to undergo hardening and can be successfully stored until spring.
Find powerful annual growths on the tree more than 40 cm long and about 1 cm thick at the base. They take root better after grafting, since they have a large supply of plastic substances. It is undesirable to take thin cuttings. This is especially important for stone fruit crops, in which, on short annual growths 10-15 cm long, all lateral buds are flowering. That is, it may turn out that you plant a cutting, and it will not give a single shoot, only flowers, and then it will die.
After you have cut the annual shoots, tie them into bunches and attach the variety label. Put it in a snow pile before spring. That is, bury the cuttings in the snow, and sprinkle the top with a layer of sawdust 20-30 cm. If there is no snow yet, then the cuttings can be temporarily stored on the lower shelf of the refrigerator by wrapping them in a damp cloth and placing them in a plastic bag. After the snow falls, transfer them to the snow pile.
IF IT HAS BEEN HARD SNOWFALL and the weather is humid, there may be a lot of snow on the tree branches. It is advisable to shake off this snow from the crown, without waiting for the branch to break off. Most often, such breaks occur in trees with a pyramidal crown and where the angle of departure of skeletal branches is sharp. It is very difficult to heal such wounds later.
AND OF COURSE, IN WINTER we do not forget to take care of the birds. They are our assistants in the fight against garden pests. Hang feeders in the garden area and put grain, white bread crumbs, seeds in them. Black bread is bad for small birds, so it's best not to use it. Do not use a lot of food so that the birds continue to look for pests in winter. However, in severe frosts and in snowfall, increase the amount of food so that the birds do not fly away.
Reference by topic: We sow annuals and perennials in December for seedlings - memo
© Author: N. ALEKSEEVA, agronomist
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