Spray with dormant spray

Leaves on ground.jpg

Fungus can take up residence on your plants during the growing months, but you can combat it effectively during the winter. Be sure to clear fallen leaves from plants that are particularly sensitive to fungus, such as roses and fruit trees. This will help prevent the fungal spores from spreading to new growth in the spring. After all leaves have fallen from the plant and you have pruned, spray a combination of copper fungicide and horticultural oil to lightly (but thoroughly) coat the branches. Once the mixture has dried, it will guard your plants against harmful fungus and other pathogens.

Protect tender plants with cloth tarps


When outside temperatures drop, you’ll want to check your garden for plants that need to be protected from frost. Many plants, including citrus, succulents, and other tender perennials are susceptible to damage when temperatures drop below freezing. To avoid dieback, prop frost blankets up on stakes or tomato cages around sensitive plants, making sure not to weigh them down. This will allow the plants to breathe even while covered, and keep branches from breaking under the weight of the blanket. Avoid using burlap or plastic tarps for this job, as they will not keep plants as warm as a frost blanket. If all you have are old sheets, use several layers on each plant to provide enough coverage. Frosts are few and far between during our coastal winters, but when they do come, your plants will thank you for taking the time to cover them!