Tips for winter planting from the NC Cooperative Extension Service

In Mecklenburg County, the Cooperative Extension Service is part of Park and Recreation and offers the following tips for gardeners in January:[singlepic=520,320,240,,right]
• Fertilize broad-leaved evergreens in the winter or spring. Fertilizing in the late summer induces late-season growth that is susceptible to winter injury.
• Winter is the time to apply dormant oil sprays to kill overwintering mites, aphids, and scale on deciduous trees and shrubs. Spray oils when temperatures are above 40 F, but not within 24 hours of a freeze. Because the oil kills insects by suffocation, avoid spraying on windy days to ensure that all surfaces of the plant are covered.
• Some plants that should be pruned in later winter or early spring are hydrangea, butterfly bush, Rose-of-Sharon, hibiscus and other summer-flowering shrubs that flower on new growth.

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