Winter Frequently Asked Questions



When is the best time to plant fruit trees? Can I plant citrus trees at the same time?

January is when the bare root trees arrive and the nursery will have the best selection. The trees arrive with out soil around their roots and not in containers, hence the name “bare root”. Planting in the winter when they are dormant gives them plenty of time to establish before spring when they wake up in their new homes. Planting bare root is easier in our “lousy” soil. Wide and shallow holes are best. Bare root trees need to be planted immediately to protect their tender roots. 

Citrus is best planted in the warmer months in our climate. Planting in the spring, summer and early fall give the plants time to establish before winter. Always protect your citrus from frost. Citrus does extremely well in containers too.

The weatherman says to “protect frost tender plants”, how do I do this?

If cold/freezing weather is predicted, make sure all plants are well watered since dry plants are more susceptible to frost damage. Move tender container plants such as citrus, mandevilla, hibiscus, and bouganvillea beneath overhangs or on to a covered location. Plants that cannot be moved should be protected with a frost cloth such as N-sulate blanket or Frost Protek Bags. Both are available at the nursery and are reusable for many years. Adding small holiday lights will help keep the plants warm and add a festive touch to your yard. Do not cover plants with plastic –it may burn the plants. Remove frost covers in the morning as the day warms up to prevent plants from getting to warm. 

If frost damage does occur-do not remove the “burned” foliage until all danger of frosts have passed and you see new growth on the plant.

How do I prevent all these weeds? They are everywhere- in my bark, rock/gravel areas, and patio.

from germinating; they will not control or kill established weeds. They come in granular or liquid form. Dimension, Preseeder Weeder and Weed Stopper are a few. After a few years of consistent usage, your weeds will be decreased by 90%. Pre emergents are safe to use around plants since they just stop seeds from germinating. We recommend applying them in mid October and February. If you have a very bad case of weeds, a late May application will help.

Do I need to water my plants in the winter?

In general, the winter rainfall we receive should be sufficient… If it has not rained, run your irrigation for a day to give plants a much needed drink. Most plants are dormant or resting in the winter and therefore not actively growing and do not need a lot of water.

What can or should I prune now? (Enjoy the holidays and start in January)

Dormant deciduous plants such as flowering vines, berries, grapes, and fruit trees, or shade trees can be pruned. Summer flowering shrubs such as hardy hibiscus, crape myrtle, roses, butterfly bush, cistus, sages, artemesia, can be pruned. DO NOT prune spring flowering shrubs such as azaleas, lilacs, viburnums, rhododendrons, forsythias!! Check our calendar for pruning clinic dates.

My lawn looks okay-why do I need to apply fertilizer now?

It is time to get your lawn ready for spring and prevent weeds at the same time by using a lawn food with pre-emergents. We recommend Prohibit Pre-emergent Lawn food for those that have weeds. If you are weed free, then use Bolero Lawn Food from the turf experts at Delta Blue Grass or Dr. Earth Organic Lawn Food. We have all products in stock. Apply in February.

I am anxious to plant my garden-can I?

Wait! Spring starts March 20th-the soil is not warm enough for plants to grow now. You can start seeds indoors for brocolli, cabbage, chard, and cauliflower. 

In late winter/early spring you can start your warm season veggies such as tomatoes, peppers. 

While waiting be sure to add compost and/or organic matter (leaves, grass clippings) to your planting beds. 

Be sure to take our “Organic Veggie’ class in March. Check the calendar section.

Winter is the time to get the lawn mover tuned up and clean your tools.

Prepare your mover-have the blades sharpened, give it a tune up, and wash it. Wipe/clean you tools-you can apply a fine layer of oil to ward off any rust. Sharpen your pruners, lopers, and hedge shears.

I would really like to “Go Green” how hard is it and how can you help me?

We have been “Green” at the nursery for some time. Our new line of Dr. Earth Organic fertilizers is a great way to start. We have also added many new “Earth Friendly” and OMRI labeled products to our chemical, pesticide, and fungicide lines. Stop by and ask any one of our nursery professionals for assistance. It is easy being Green at El Dorado Nursery & Garden.