Hello again my garden friends.

 Well, we are days away from celebrating Christmas.

Has everyone enjoyed the rain and frosty mornings? Let’s pray, for the rain to continue.

We are still in a La Niña weather pattern and, like the past few years, we have received rain in November and December. Unfortunately, by the end of December it was like someone had shut off the water and we had warmer day temperatures.

Warmer days, especially in winter, can be unfortunate. Spring flower bulbs and flowering shrubs might prematurely bloom and garden soil may start drying out.

I ask all gardeners, please don’t prune your fruit trees till mid-January, and roses until the end of January.

Here are some other garden responsibilities for late December.

Pick up fallen autumn leaves that have cluttered your garden, especially sycamore and mulberry. These don’t decompose fast enough, for compost.

Have a certified arborist, come out and evaluate your trees for dead and weakened branches from our last storm.

Broadcast Blend and liquid soil penetrant Bio Tiller. Both are products of John and Bob’s Soil Solutions. Check out their website.

Clean up late summer and autumn flower pots. Prepare for Spring planting. This is also a good time to replant trees and shrubs that might need to be transplanted in a larger container.

Bareroot season is almost upon us. This would include roses, stone fruits, grapes and berries.

Don’t forget to continue feeding our migratory songbirds.

If the rain doesn’t reappear, we will need to give our plants, shrubs, trees and lawns supplement water; it’s important to keep, the garden soil moist and not allow it to dry.

I would like to wish everyone on the Westside, a very Merry Christmas.

Mark Koehler

Mark Koehler of Los Banos is an arborist and master gardener, who has degrees in Landscape Architecture and Landscape Horticulture from UC Berkeley and Northeastern University.