Source: Walter Reeves
Get ready for roses - Prepare beds for bare-root roses that will soon arrive in nurseries. Dig an area four feet wide and twelve inches deep for each plant, adding plenty of soil conditioner to the soil.
Tend to your poinsettias - Water poinsettias only as needed – when the top inch of the soil becomes dry to the touch. Keep them in bright light but cool temperatures. Do not fertilize until March.
Prune your trees - It is easy to see the limb structure of trees now. Tie ribbon around the ones you think should be removed then step back for another look before cutting them off.
If the ground is dry, till the soil in your vegetable garden. You’ll eliminate lots of insects, weeds and nematodes.
Transplant shrubs - Small, leafless shrubs and trees can be transplanted easily now. Wait for a warm day when the ground is not frozen.
Cut back kudzu and bamboo - Chop unwanted kudzu, English ivy and bamboo to the ground. Follow with weed killer on the leaves in April.
Prune pampas grass - Prune clumps of pampas grass down to 12 inches tall. Use a gloved hand to pull out dead stems in the clump.
Water pansies - Water pansies and ornamental kale after a hard freeze so they can re-hydrate their wilted leaves. Remember to regularly water window boxes and other outside plant containers.
Bring in amaryllis - Amaryllis flower stems and their faded blooms can be removed now. Treat it like a houseplant for the rest of the winter then plant outdoors in a sunny bed in May.
Prepare for cold weather - Use calcium chloride or potassium chloride instead of salt on icy sidewalks. Too much rock salt (sodium chloride) can burn nearby plant roots. If temperatures drop below 20 degrees after a week-long warm spell, cover gardenias and camellias nightly with black plastic anchored to the ground on all sides.
Request seed catalogs - Write or call for your yearly supply of garden plant and seed catalogs. Buy an issue of a gardening magazine for addresses and phone numbers.
Plant pansies and daisies - Plant pansies and English daisies in a sunny bed when the weather is mild. Use plants in three inch or larger pots to make an immediate impact in your landscape.
Be careful - Look out for poison ivy when working outdoors. Even the leafless vine and branches can cause a powerful skin reaction if touched.
Check your bulbs - Check on the tender bulbs (canna, caladium, dahlia) you stored indoors for the winter. If they are beginning to shrink, mist each one with warm water.
Prune your fruit trees - Prune apple and pear trees and grape vines.