|Luffa Aegyptiaca or Luffa sponge after being skinned|
We have chances for frost, so we need to break out frost protection gear. For our citrus trees, we add several timely strings of incandescent christmas lights to keep the immediate temperature warmer.
Before first frost, bring tender tropicals that cannot benefit from incandescent lighting into a greenhouse or other sheltered location to maintain warmth.
Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees. Horticultural Oils are petrolium or vegetable based lightweight oils. These oils are applied as a dilute spray on plant surfaces to control insects and mites. Neem oil is a popular choice.
December 21 or 22 is the first day of winter each year.
Mangos may bloom during December, January, February and March. Sapodilla may bloom during December, January, February, March and April.
Divide and Conquer
In December, January, February, March, April, May, June, July fertilize figs with soluble fertilizer if there was minimal growth the prior year.
November, December or January rambutans may be ripe. Rambutans are ripe when the rounded part is a bright yellow, orange or red color (depending on variety)and the spikes are still green. When the spikes become black, they are overripe. The best time to prune rambutan is at the time of harvest. Prune rambutan to maintain a relatively short height and 3 or 4 main limbs well spaced. Remove dried branches, water suckers and crossed branches.
November, December, January, February, March and April kiwi vines may bear fruit.
In December, the coffee beans may be a bright red, indicating readiness for picking.
In the veggie area, we can pick jerusalem artichokes, arugula, beets, , broccoli (except for romanesco), brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, collards, dill, , endive, fennel, kale, leaf lettuce, mint, mustard greens, multiplier onions and scallions, oregano, parsley, peas, radish, spinach, sunflowers, swiss chard, thyme, tomatoes, and turnips. For flowers, we can harvest anise hyssop, dill, dandelion, nasturtiums, and pea blossoms.
In December, top trim cacao tree to limit height growth. Minimum height assumed to produce pods is 5 - 6' with a 1.5 inch trunk diameter. Only prune to a shorter stature if cacao pods are not desired.
In December, January and February prune allspice, avocado, when they are not actively growing.
November, December, January, February, March prune apple and pear trees during dormancy. The ideal shape is open goblet with four or five main branches. Cut the main branches back 1/3 to just beyond the last properly facing bud.
December, January, February prune kiwi vines during dormancy. Remove dead, diseased and tangled wood, and shape to desired form.
Transplant potted Baobab trees during the dormant period when leaves are dropped.