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5 THINGS TO DO IN YOUR GARDEN.

1 Apply dormant sprays to deciduous fruit trees after leaves fall off completely.

Spray Lime-Sulfur "Dormant Disease Control" mixture within the next few weeks to stop fungus diseases from getting a new foothold later in spring. Spray dormant oil to smother overwintering insect pests hiding inside the bark. Both products are commonly available at home and garden centers.

2 Plant memories for your family with lots of holiday traditions. Create holiday decorations with pine boughs, holly branches, oak stems, grape vines, fruits, nuts, etc. Make attractive garlands by stringing cranberries and popped popcorn alternately. Perhaps even take a trip to the mountains to gather some pine cones before they get covered with snow-just for the fun of it, and for the memories.

3 Wrap the trunks of young citrus and avocado trees with insulating material to protect them from upcoming frosts. For really young trees, try styrofoam insulation tubes normally used for copper water pipes. They are just the right size and are easy to put on and take off. Secure them in place with a few pieces of duct tape, but don't get carried away with the tape. If it gets really cold, you may still need to cover the leaf canopy with a sheet on the coldest nights, however.

4 Carrotwood trees are blooming now. To prevent the formation of those hard, messy seed pods and fruits on these and other ornamental trees-spray the foliage with "Florel Fruit Eliminator" before flowering ends. It's available from garden centers and home improvement stores. The active ingredient, a natural plant hormone called ethephon, causes the fertilized flowers to fall off so fruits can't develop.

5 Harvest Jerusalem artichokes, otherwise known as "sunchokes" (*Helianthus tuberosus*) once the sunflower tops start dying back. Cut back the tops completely, then using a spading fork, carefully begin digging a foot or so away from the stalks. Be careful not to injure the tender knobby potato-like tubers below soil level. Replant some for next year's crop, then clean, dry and store the rest for use as you need them.
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Title Annotation:HOME+GARDEN
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 5, 2009
Words:343
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