Danelle Cutting: Tasks and programs for winter months

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 8, 2016

New Year, new you, right? As a gardener, that is.

We are always asked, “Do you really get that many questions about gardening during the winter months?” The answer is always, “Yes!” People are constantly thinking about what to change in their gardens or landscapes. There are also a lot of prepping and educational events throughout the winter months than can help you prepare your garden and fruits.

What are some of those tasks that need to be done during the winter? As mentioned in the past, one is cleaning and sharpening your garden tools. It is always frustrating when you go out to the tool shed and discover your tools are still dirty and your pruners are dull.

Pruning is always a huge part of late winter tasks, and we will be gearing up for it very soon, so make sure your loppers, saw and pruning shears are ready.

I am not sure if you have started receiving all of the beautiful seed catalogs, but I sure have. Every year, it seems like I spend Christmas morning looking at all of the new varieties. I cannot wait to try a few in my garden and possibly do a few trials at the office.

Our office, along with several additional agents, is working on another broccoli trial, and we have already started buying many of the seeds. So, go ahead and start planning what you want in your garden and if you choose some unusual varieties, you may want to get them early since they are usually in limited supply.

One of the last tasks that I always recommend is getting a soil sample. Currently, there is a $4 charge for all tests, but if you wait until April, they will be free again. Just stop by the office (2727-A Old Concord Road) and pick up your soil test kit.

Lastly, there are some wonderful programs and meetings that are being held across the state. Whether you are a gardener or a grower that would like to know more, there is a meeting for you.

One of my favorites is the NC Peach Growers Society annual conference being held Jan. 26 at the Moore County Extension office, starting at 9 a.m. It is a great conference to learn more about producing peaches in North Carolina. There is even a pre-pruning demonstration on the Monday before the conference.

A great one for gardeners is the Southern Spring Home and Garden Show, and it starts Feb. 26 at the Park Expo and Conference Center in Charlotte, where you can learn from gardening gurus and get inspiration from their own gardens.

If you have any questions about tasks for the garden or gardening events being held throughout the state, contact your local Cooperative Extension Agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.

For more information on the events mentioned in this article, visit:

NC Peach Grower’s Society Conference: http://www.ncpeachgrowers.com/

Southern Spring Home and Garden Show: https://southernshows.com/sss