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December 2012

Winter Arrives

 Winter Garden 3

December 1st marks the start of meteorological winter. Meteorologists think of winter as the coldest 90 days of the year which runs from the start of the twelfth month and continues through until the end of February. Most of us are taught winter begins December 21st, but that is astronomical winter and is different than meteorological winter.  Last year was one of the mildest winters on record for much of the United States.  This year will not be the same as much of the country will have near normal cold and snow.  I am predicting the heaviest snows to be in western New England and through the upper Midwest, however, this doesn't mean that it will be warm elsewhere.  Here in the Boston area I am expecting about 40 inches of snow over the upcoming 4 months.  This would give the area about average snowfall for the season.  Elsewhere the winter looks more  typical with snowy and cold periods.  I don't see any record cold outbreaks for Florida this year.


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Pomergranets in season.

So this time of year one of my favorite treats is widely available in the produce section of most supermarkets.

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I ended with 9 pomegranates this weekend as they were on sale for a dollar.  The problem is, now what?  My solution, I have been using them in salads, eating them alone and I discovered they go great mixed with grapefruit.  They also make a nice addition to cole slaw or other Asian greens with miso dressing .
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December Chores
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In December many people don't think about gardening.  However, there are still garden chores you can do if you can get outside and don't have too much snow on the ground.  Early in the month you can still put down sod and also move perennials. If you can get into the ground,  you can still plant bulbs and in warmer climates you can sow lettuce, radish, peas, carrots and other cool weather crops.  I harvest my cold frame greens on days that the temperature exceeds 32F.  If you have evergreens that need to be pruned you can cut them this time of year and use the greens decoratively.  

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Click here to learn more about December chores

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Claytonia

There are many herbs and other greens you can grow in the winter.  The picture are of Claytonia above and Arugula below.  I grow both of these in the cold frame all winter.  You could also grow them on a sunny windowsill or in a cool room in the house. Each of these is great raw in salads or on pizza.
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Christmas tree care

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When you bring a cut evergreen tree into your house from Christmas you want it to last through the holiday.  There are some great ways you can keep that tree alive for weeks and prevent the needles from falling. 
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Click here to learn how to care for your Christmas tree




 

 

Winter moth are out

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Late fall and early winter is the time that winter moths are flying around the yard in many parts of the northeast.  If you don't have this pest, be thankful.  The moths you see are the males trying to mate with the females.  The females will lay their eggs in the bark of the trees and then, next spring, the caterpillars with hatch and begin feeding on our trees.
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Click here to learn about winter moth and how to control it for spring

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Astronomical winter begins December 21st and ends March 20th. (Summer south of the equator)
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When I was a kid winter was my favorite season, that was before I had to drive and shovel.  Now, while I don't dread the season, I don't love it.  I have been a skier since I was four years old and being able to ski is the best part of the winter.  Living just outside of Boston I find the traffic and snow combination to be so bad it makes me dread snowstorms and that is very different than it was when I was a kid growing up in Maine. I use to look forward to the storms, now they are just something to get through.  If the mountains have a lot of snow that is great, but I wish it didn't have to fall in the city.  I realize I am growing old sometimes the way I don't like the winter.
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 Selecting the right rose for the right spot
When you go to a nursery to buy rose plants there are all sorts of varieties to choose from.  One of the challenges for the gardener is to choose the right rose variety for the spot it will be planted.  Some roses make an ideal ground cover while others are more suited to growing on trellis.  In this video we show you which roses are best for which areas.

Click here to watch the video on rose types including Flower Carpet roses.
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December chill

Jan Plan 2012 (59)

Right about now perhaps it's very chilly where you are located. I like to try to find some beauty in the winter.  Above is picture of the pond with a light dusting of snow and below the view out my friends house after a few inches of the white stuff. I liked the way the stairs looked.  A fun game with kids is to give them a camera and have them take pictures of the colors they can see in winter.
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P-01-10-Ornamental-Grasses-HD33.jpgDecember Vegetables (12)
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Diagnosing tree issuesPicture 025

Trees can have a variety of problems that over time will damage or kill them.  One of the biggest issues with trees is that many are planted too deeply or have too much mulch around their trunks.  This is a serious issue that can lead to major problems and the death of your tree in just a few years.

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Click here to watch a video about caring for your trees


Welcome New Members I hope you enjoy the newsletter.

Stopping weeds
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Weeds are one of the most common and biggest issues for gardeners.  No matter how large or small your garden, you are going to have weeds. I have a client in Boston where I have a weed issue in the containers on the roof deck!  There are a several quick steps you can take to prevent weeds from happening.

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Click here to learn how to control weeds in the garden

 

 

 

Tour of the garden 2012
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I want to take a few minutes and show you the garden at my home this summer.  This video gives you a brief tour of some of my favorite plants in the garden and why I use them. This is a great time of year to plan your garden for the upcoming spring and summer.

Click here to see the Growing Wisdom gardens in full summer bloom2012-06-26_16-56-59_631


 

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Tips for keeping rosemary and herbs this winterRosemary

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs to grow.  The problem is that it is not quite hardy in our climate.  I find that it is very difficult to grow inside all winter as it doesn't like the dry heat.  In this video I share my tips for keeping rosemary alive over the winter.  The image above is a plant that has wintered over for 5 years in a row.
 
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Click learn how to keep rosemary alive all winter in colder climates

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