Winter Garden Prep Checklist

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 25, 2015 11:27:59 AM


Winter Prep Checklist  

Top 5 Tasks for Winter Garden Care


As plants begin to prepare for dormancy, you may be tempted to head inside and hole up until spring. First, take some time to make sure your garden is ready to weather the cold months ahead. 


Frost Protection

  • Citrus, Avocados, Tropicals, Succulents and other tender plants will need to be protected with frost cloth when temperatures dip below 40°F. 
  • Frost cloth must reach all the way to the ground to help capture the radiated heat from the day. Click here to learn more about proper frost cloth application. 
  • Water plants before periods of freezing weather, except succulents which should be allowed to dry out. 
  • Spraying Bonide® Wilt Stop on the foliage can help protect plants from hard freezes. 
  • Stringing C7 or C9 Christmas lights around sensitive trees and shrubs to create heat is a great way to deter frost damage. 


  • Unless you have a smart timer like Hunter® Solar Sync, which automatically adjusts watering depending on climactic needs, you will need to reduce or turn off your controller as soon as temperatures drop.
  • Turn on/open sprinkler control valves.
  • Protect valves and exposed wiring with pipe wrap or valve covers. 


  • Clear drainage systems and gutters of debris, and make sure they drain away from the foundation of your home.
  • Need to make some upgrades? You'll find a large selection of drainage supplies and pipe fittings in our Landscape Supply department. 


  • New plantings will need to be protected from erosion due to heavy rainfall, apply a 2-3" layer of mulch. To prevent crown rot, be sure to keep the mulch 4-5" away from the base of the plant. 
  • Check the stakes on young trees and make sure they're still secure. 
  • Aerate your lawn. This helps with permeability when the rains come and gets much-needed oxygen to the roots. 



Have your Encore® Azaleas finished their second bloom of the year? Follow these steps to get them ready for another round of beautiful blooms in the spring:

  • Test the soil near your Azaleas, it should be slightly acidic (ideal range is between 4.5- 6). If you need to lower your pH, add E.B. Stone® Naturals Sul Po Mag.
  • A 2-3" layer of mulch is essential for insulating the roots in the cool months, and it adds nutrients as it breaks down. 





Pest Prevention

  • Now is the time to clean up and remove debris from around trees and shrubs. If the plant matter is disease and weed-free, be sure to add it to your compost pile. 
  • Keep an eye out for slugs and snails. Copper tape or Sluggo® are both great deterrents, but Sluggo® will need to be re-applied after rainfall. 
  • Pull weeds now, before heavy rainfall. If weeds are allowed to go to seed, the rain can spread them throughout the garden, causing problems next spring. 
  • When fruit trees go dormant, begin the first of three dormant sprays to kill overwintering insects and prevent diseases such as peach leaf curl, or shothole fungus on Carolina Cherry Laurel. 

Topics: Pest Prevention, Winter, Tips for Winter

Winter Garden Care & Spring Planting Direction Is Here...

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Feb 14, 2014 2:21:00 PM

Many gardeners have been asking, am I doing the right things in my garden this time of year? Read on to find out...

winter veggies

Winter Garden Care: 

If you currently have a winter garden, the plants should be leafy vegetables like lettuce, mustard greens, cabbage, chard, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts.  Also included in a winter garden would be carrots, turnips, celery, onions, potatoes, shallots, garlic and kohlrabi.

  • Go through garden cultivate weeds, remove litter, and check for infestations of snails, slugs and cabbage worms (caterpillars).  Treat for snails and slugs with Sluggo or Sluggo Plus and treat for cabbage worms with BT (bacillus thuringiensis).
  • Fertilize with EB Stone Organics Citrus, Vegetable, or All Purpose formula.  Plants cannot read so they do not care what the label has printed on it.

What Does Every Plant Need?

  • N – Nitrogen – the first number listed on a fertilizer label is for green leafy growth and is utilize in high amounts by growing plants.
  • P – Phosphorus – the second number listed on a fertilizer label is for root development, flower development and fruit development.
  • K – Potassium – the third number listed on a fertilizer label is for general plant health, water uptake and cell turgidity.  Very important for root crops and flowering bulbs.
  • Do not apply fertilizers to dry soils and always apply a large amount of water to the soil at the time of fertilizing.
  • Depending on the spring weather, your winter gardens could continue to produce through mid-April.  When the daytime temperatures are consistently in the mid eighties, leafy vegetables will begin to get bitter.

spring vegetables

Spring Garden Prep:

Planting temps should be consistently in the seventies.  Soil temps should be at or above 64°F.

  • Choose a location that will get six to eight hours of sunlight.
  • Choose a location that will get good air flow through the garden.
  • Choose a location that has good soil drainage.  This is most likely the biggest problem for gardeners in the Lincoln area.
  • For poor draining soil locations…make raised planter beds and break-up the soil surface in the interior of the raised bed.  Fill the raised planter beds with Green All Soil Booster.  Plants can be grown in this mix without blending with native soil or any other soil mixes.
  • Add EB Stone Organics Sure Start fertilizer into the soil mix either at the time of planting or ten to fourteen days later.
  • Plant your seedling starts or your purchased starter plants and water the garden immediately.
  • Please see attached listing for spring plantings.

Planting Types: 

Starting seeds vs. starters

  • There is plenty of time to start seeds from packets indoors at this time.
  • Advantage with seeds, greater choices on the varieties, can control the care the plants have received from the start.
  • Use starter trays or peat plugs to start seeds.
  • Do not plant seeds too deep, they will not germinate.
  • Water seed starts and cover, place in a warm area i.e. on top of the refrigerator.
  • After the seeds have germinated, move the trays into a brightly lit location.
  • Continue to check for adequate watering.
  • Rotate seedling trays every couple of days to ensure even growth.
  • Thin out weak seedlings.
  • The seedlings are ready for planting in the garden when their roots have started to appear at the bottom of the starter media.
  • A tip you might not know...if you are a smoker, always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling anything in your garden.


Soil Basics: 

Add quality soil amendments and bioactive fertilizers to your planting areas to help to ensure your success with your gardens.  It is paramount that the soil has an adequate supply of quality organic matter along with an introduction of beneficial soil microorganisms that will break down the organic matter into quality sources of nutrients that can be utilized by the plants, improve the quality of the soil, and increase the nutrient capacity of the soil.

  • Quality soil amendments are going to have a large amount of diverse organic matter in their mix.
  • Quality soil amendments will not rob your plants of nitrogen in order to break down.
  • Introducing beneficial soil microorganisms will ensure that your garden will have the correct populations of bennies that can do the work of feeding your garden.
  • As organic matter is breaking down, it improves the quality of the soil and will allow for roots to be successful, thus improving the quality of your plants.
  • Organic matter and clay have the ability to hold onto and release nutrients to the microorganisms and to the roots of the plants.
  • In order to make all of this work successfully, correct and adequate watering practices must be kept.

deciduous tree

Deciduous Tree Care: 

Once Spring has arrive it is time to fertilize your trees that were dormant in winter.

  • Decide on the fertilizer formula that best suites the needs of the trees that are to be fertilized.  Remember N-P-K and that trees cannot read.
  • Quality organic fertilizers will feed the trees at a slower rate and will improve the health of the trees’ roots.
  • Apply the fertilizer on the soil at the dripline of the canopy.  This is the area around the tree at the branch tips.  This is the location of the hairline roots that take water and nutrients into the tree.
  • Apply a large amount of water to the area with a garden hose to wash the fertilizer into the root zone of the tree.


Helpful Tricks:

  • Amend soils with quality organic matter.
  • Inoculate soils with beneficial microorganisms.
  • Allow enough space for each plant that you are planting.
  • Try to apply heavier amounts of water less often to improve the roots of plants.
  • Use Actinovate to improve disease resistance in plants.
  • Enjoy your garden and walk through it frequently to notice problems early.


Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Edibles, Tips for Winter, Veggies and Herbs

Bareroot Roses for Sacramento Gardeners

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Feb 6, 2014 5:16:00 PM

dick clark rose resized 600

At Green Acres bareroot roses are not just a rose but much more!  Bareroot season, is here and will be gone soon.  Now is one of the best times to buy and plant roses.  

What is a bareroot rose you may ask?  A bareroot rose is simply a rose sold in the winter time when the plant is dormant, (sleeping).

Some people are uneasy about planting bareroot roses, maybe because they don't know how to plant them.  Bareroot roses want to grow badly enough and will overcome planting deficiencies as long as they are planted green side up with a good dose of water.


Why is this the best time to plant a rose?

While the roses are dormant the plants can be planted with little disturbance.  Another interesting fact is that little soil is needed around their root system because they are dormant. 

bareroot in hand resized 600 

Are there added benefits to planting rose during bareroot season?

Sure!  Because the plant is sold in a dormant state with little soil and no blooms, bareroot rose season is one of the most economical times to buy a rose.  The cost savings during the bareroot season is at least 30 percent less than during the Spring and Summer months.  The second perk is that there is a large variety of roses to be found during bareroot season.  Bareroot roses will soon look just like a potted rose that you might buy throughout the Spring and Summer.  Your just going to save some money by buying and planting now. 

At Green Acres Nursery, we only sell grade #1 roses.  Grade #1 is important.  This means that these roses have at least 3 strong canes with a very strong bud union.  Our roses are from Certified Roses, a rose grower known for their quality roses for over 60 years.  The roots of certified roses are strong and adjust quickly to soil conditions when they leaf out in late winter and early spring.


So, you have decided to buy a bareroot rose … 

Before planting, it is recommended by the American Rose Society and Green Acres to submerge the entire plant into a bucket of water with a few tablespoons of the effective transplant solution, Vitamin B-1 by Liquinox.  Let your plant soak for at least 12 hours.  This soaking will help rehydrate the roots and make it optimal for planting.


Now where do you plant it?

The optimum spot for a rose is in a sunny location (at least 6 hours of sun, morning sun is best, especially for hybrid teas).  Make sure the rose is placed in a spot with good air circulation to avoid fungus problems and well draining soil so that the roots will not rot.  The planting hole should be 2' by 2' by 2'.  This may seem like overkill to you, but planting in a deep and wide hole will help with drainage.  If you have well draining soil you are set and can get by with a hole 18 inches deep.  If you aren't sure about your soil- fill the hole with water and if it takes more than an hour to drain then dig to 24", fill the hole with 4-5" of gravel and plant.  Be sure and use Greenall Rose Planting Mix with native soil and EB Stone Sure Start Fertilizer.  These products are made here in Northern California, for yards like yours!  They get your roses off to the best start possible. 

bareroot rose 


You found a spot in your yard, what type of rose is right for you?

Hybrid Teas – Most popular variety

This is the cut flower rose.  Flowers appear in a single blossom on a large stem.  The roses are usually larger (3-6” across).  Hybrid Teas also tend to be the most fragrant.  The plants usually grow tall and upright. 

A couple notable Hybrid Teas this bareroot season:

Chrysler Imperial:  Chrysler Imperial is an older classic.  Sensational red roses are produced on this plant.  Introduced in 1952, this wonderful rose is still a favorite among rose lovers.  Long pointed buds develop into extra large blooms that are velvety dark red.  Perfect for cutting.  Blooms are 4-5” across.  Fragrant

Love Me Tender:  Orchid to creamy pink cherry edged blooms.  This rose flower emits a gentle fragrance.  Grows 4-6’ and bushy.


Floribunda Roses- Natures bouquet

The first floribunda roses were introduced by a Danish Rose hybridizer named Svend Poulesin in the 1920’s.  Floribundas are known for their bouquet of blooms on each branch.  The flowers are smaller than Hybrid Teas but make quite a statement with their clusters!  Most floribundas grow to a height of 3 feet and are more compact than hybrid teas making them perfect for containers and hedges.  Floribunda varieties also tend to be hardier in full sun and more disease resistant than Hybrid teas.

A few notable Floribunda varieties this bareroot season:

Iceberg:  Although this variety is available through out the year.  Bareroot season offers an excellent opportunity to plant this rose in a hedge at a very affordable price!  Iceberg is a beloved rose that is extremely disease resistant and prolific.  It has long pointed buds and shapely, pure white blooms borne in clusters of up to 15 per spray.  Medium fragrance.  Great container plant too!

Poseidon:  Exquisitely cupped lavender-blue rosettes pack in over fifty petals each that cover this naturally disease resistant rose!

Scentimental:  Burgundy red and creamy white blooms.  This exquisite rose grows to 3 feet and has a nice strong fragrance!

strike it rich rose resized 600 Grandiflora Roses – Roses of Distinction!

Grandiflora roses tend to be the taller growing roses.  They are a cross between Floribunda and Hybrid Teas.  Grandiflora’s are a modern hybrid with larger blooms than a floribunda but usually in clusters continuously blooming throughout the season.

Notable Grandiflora Tea Roses:

Silver Star:  A non fading beautiful lavender rose with vigorous growth.  This rose can grow 5 feet plus. Makes a great focal point in the middle of a garden that will signal its presence to anyone able to admire it!  Slightly fragrant.

Strike it Rich:  Elegant Gold and rosy pink buds amid disease resistant foliage.  Strike it rich has unusual long red stems and vigorous growth that make it a truly great cutting rose!


Climbing roses – Trellis, Arbors or Fences will never look so grand!

So you have an Arbor or Trellis that needs a bit of spice?  A fence that needs a bit of color?  Try a climbing rose!  Low maintenance and elegant. 

A couple of varieties this year.

Joseph's Coat:  A kaleidoscope of colors – multi-colored rainbow that opens yellow-orange than varies between orange, pink and red.  Slightly fragrant. (pictured)

bareroot roses for sacramento gardeners

Angel Face:  Loved for its sweet lemon-like fragrance, this favorite is covered in lavender blossoms.  Grows 10-12 feet to cover even the largest Arbors!


Plant a rose and enjoy our National Flower with all its beauty and fragrance.  


Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Seasonal Items, Tips for Winter, Roses

Popular Sacramento Gardeners Give You Advice

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Dec 6, 2013 2:25:00 PM

Everyone loves a good tip.  We contacted some of the best gardeners in the area and asked them to share their knowledge.
What is your best and most actionable gardening advice in Sacramento during winter?

Water with the weather. And, because reports indicate that we're facing another drought year, conservation of water is vital. So, what can we do right now -- today?  Reduce the frequency and duration that your irrigation system runs. Cooler days and nights mean that plants do not require as much water.  

Install a rain sensor that will interrupt your controller's irrigation schedule in the event of rain. Once the rains begin, turn off the irrigation system altogether for the winter season.

Keep in mind, however, that the fall and winter seasons are when many plants expect rainfall, especially some California natives and plants suited for Mediterranean-type climates such as ours (typically cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers). So, if this fall and winter are dry, then you may need to provide supplement water for your plants.

Cheryl buckwalter resized 600

Cheryl Buckwalter

Program Manager Green Gardener Training Program

Executive Director of EcoLandscape California



Turn off the irrigation timers. Monitor the moisture level in the soil wherever you have actively growing plants. Use a moisture meter or dig down eight to twelve inches and feel the soil at root level. Irrigate manually if the soil at that depth is on the dry side. If the soil is saturated in the root zone don't add water, even if the surface appears dry.

farmer fred resized 600

Farmer Fred

Lifetime Master Gardener and Host of the "KFBK Garden Show"



Don't just let your garden sit there -- do SOMETHING! Sacramento winters are relatively mild, which allows for a lot of gardening opportunities. You can plant a winter vegetable garden. Or start preparing beds for next spring and summer.

Fava beans help with both tasks. Started now, favas are dependable, low-care and prolific -- and they help build better soil for next summer.  They're a delicious and versatile addition to the winter garden; the edible leaves taste like spinach and the beans can be eaten young like green beans or allowed to fully mature. Meanwhile, their roots help "fix" more nitrogen in the soil, which squash and tomatoes will appreciate next summer.


Debbie Arrington

Senior Writer for the Sacramento Bee covering Home, Garden, Food & more!



Prepare for a rainy winter.  With a fresh 9 Volt battery in hand, head towards your sprinkler system controller.   If necessary, clear a path to the controller by relocating the collection of items that accumulated over the summer.  Does your system have a battery backup? If yes, install the fresh 9 Volt. The battery will allow your controller to keep time when winter storms interrupt power.   Next, verify the time of day is correct (day-lite saving time).  The most important step is to adjust the watering days and run times to coincide with your plants reduced water needs.  Some gardeners can actually turn the system OFF until early spring. With your remaining enthusiasm, continue to prepare for the rain by raking the leaves collecting in the storm gutters and drains.

Judy McClure

Master Gardener Program Coordinator

UC Cooperative Extension

Sacramento and Yolo Counties


Prevent many of next year’s pests with a dormant application of Bonide’s All Season’s Spray Oil or Monterey’s Horticultural Oil, both are organically acceptable. Defend against Peach Leaf Curl (PLC) with a dormant spray of Liqui-Cop. Make the PLC spray more effective by adding a 1% concentration of one of the oil spray products mentioned above. Don’t spray until the leaves are off the tree and you expect a minimum of 24 hours without rain.

Steve Zien

IPM ADVOCATE  with the Our Water Our World Program


Want to prevent pests from overwintering in your garden? Sanitation is key when it comes to overwintering pests and diseases. Remove any fallen fruit or diseased leaves from the garden area. Fallen fruit can be composted but diseased leaves may survive a home compost pile so make sure to put those in the Green Waste Recycling.

annie joseph

Annie Joseph

Our Water Our World  


Extra Irrigation Tip from Cheryl Buckwalter
How can you tell if you need to irrigate?

Get dirty. Grab a trowel, or better yet a  soil probe, and dig into the soil three to five inches to get a sample. Feel it, squeeze it. Is the top two inches or so dry to the touch, but then below that the soil is moist? If so, you can probably wait another few days to water. If the majority of your soil sample is fairly dry to the touch (meaning that it's not as dry as powder and there is still some moisture in it), then run your irrigation system for a cycle.  

As seasons change, our irrigation schedules need to change as well. Remember, water with the weather. Our plants will be healthier for it! 



Lots of tips on irrigation and correct watering practices!  We hope you found this helpful.  
Look forward to more garden help at our annual Dig Into Spring Event.  Troubleshoot your toughest garden problems. 

Topics: Winter, Irrigation Tips, Tips for Winter, Reduce Water Costs

Get Digging with Green Acres

Have questions? Drop us a line.

We are here to help you with all of your landscape and gardening needs.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all