What To Do This Month Resist cutting back freeze-damaged shrubs - freezes are still possible this month and the dead foliage can help protect the plants. Also, if cutting back prompts new growth, it will be particularly susceptible to the cold. If freeze damage becomes evident on your palms, prune the dead leaves but leave those that are just spotted or damaged. Immediately after pruning, spray with a fungicide containing copper. (This is not recommended for palms that bear edible fruit.) Be sure the spray covers the damaged tissue and the bud, to which the spear leaf and newly opened leaves are attached. Repeat the copper spray 10 days later.Occasionally, cold damage is so severe, the spear leaf becomes loose and pulls out easily. There is still a chance of recovery. Remove as much dead and decaying material from around the bud as possible so it can dry out. Drench with a copper fungicide in the bud using the force of the sprayer to clean out the bud as much as possible. Follow up 10 days later. Note: Freeze damage to palms may not be evident for weeks. What To Plant This Month Start warm-season vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes indoors. This is a good time to plant many bulbs, including dahlias, crinum and agapanthus. Water well to establish and cover with mulch to protect from cold weather.
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