What should you be doing during the next couple of weeks in the yard and garden? Trees and shrubs benefit from fertilizing in January, February or March. One can plant trees as long as the soil isn’t frozen. And yes, we can have drought during the winter months as well so if we go a spell without any measurable precipitation, be sure to water.

If your broadleaf evergreens have a problem with scale, spray dormant oil when temperatures are above 40 degrees F and stay so for at least 24 hours. With our rollercoaster ride of temperatures, you could take a chance and prune now or wait until February. Remember not to prune spring-blooming shrubs until after they have bloomed.

If you have not already done so, clean garden and flower beds of any leftover debris. If necessary, get that soil test done. Check the condition of seeds in storage and if moldy, get out the catalogs to order new seed or visit the local garden center. Utilize your garden patch more efficiently through crop rotation and succession plantings. If we jump through spring and stumble through summer with another show of high temperature and drought, better plan on a larger fall garden, too.

Replace plants back firmly into ground if we start experiencing cycles of heavy freezing and thawing to avert problems arising from heaving. Clean beds and add mulch if not already done. That includes over bulbs,

Treat houseplants for pests and disease as necessary. Clean large plant leaves ever so often with a damp cloth soaked in warm water. Smaller plants can be treated to a shower. Keep plants clear of drafts and cold window glass. Supplement room’s low humidity by placing plants on flat trays filled with a layer of pebbles and a little water.

The fireman in the house asked me to remind you to watch your brush burning during the winter months, too. Doesn’t take much of a wind to make a small contained fire become a full-blown pasture fire.