The years coming to a close and it’s a perfect time to assess and eliminate what you don’t use and need. No what kind of closet you’re planning, take time ahead and really consider what you need to store and where to store it.
Step One: Designate a Staging Area
Step Two: Organize into Categories
Step Three: Eliminate items that don’t belong in this closet
Step Four: Remove unwanted items.
Step Five: Clean the closet itself
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For a festive Christmas, plant red and white cyclamen, and/or poinsettias. The poinsettias are frost sensitive, so cover with burlap if the temperature dips below freezing at night. Along the same line, in those areas where frosts are just an occasional thing, keep plantings well-watered so whenever a freeze threatens, plants are more likely to survive. A "turgid" well-hydrated plant is better-equipped to recover than a dehydrated plant. Continue to rake leaves, clean drains, and water only if the dry Santa Ana winds blow and zap moisture from the soil or if more than 10 days pass without rain. Look at your soil to verify it is starting to become dry or you see stress in your turf before turning on irrigation. Do not prune tender cold sensitive plants, but now you can prune deciduous fruit trees. After pruning them, spray with dormant oil to prevent fungal diseases and pest problems. If you hadn’t pruned your trees in the fall, and before winter storms do too much damage, now is the best time to prune pines, and most shade trees can safely be trimmed as well. Plus, it’s easier to see what you’re doing when the leaves have gone during dormancy. Remove weak or cracked limbs, and open up the canopies so wind and rain can pass through them, but never remove more than twenty percent of the canopy and avoid lion tailing (stripping leaves from the branch only to leave some at the tip.) If the trees are big, hire a licensed tree trimmer supervised by a certified arborist. Find one by visiting www.isa-arbor.com. If plants get hit by frost, resist the urge to prune away injured tissue. The damaged parts will protect inner growth from additional harm should there be another frost. (Once spring growth appears, you can cut off damaged areas above it.) If you purchased bulbs like tulips, hyacinths, crocus, and daffodils in the fall, and gave them some cold treatment in the refrigerator, plant them now. They will erupt in spring and your patience will be rewarded. Similarly, if you have not planted your wildflower seeds, get it done now.
Bonus Tip: Bare root plants will start to appear in home centers next month. Smart gardeners will go now to specialty stores and pre-order harder to find and unique varieties of bare root trees and shrubs, roses, and even vegetables for planting next month.