Texas growers given winter tips

Texas garden and greenhouse enthusiasts have been given some pointers for how to fill their time over the holiday period.

The first task should be to get any remaining spring bulbs into the ground, although some can be planted as late as January, the Tribune suggested.

New plants should be given extra hydration during any dry spells in the winter to ensure that they bed in properly, however care should be taken not to waterlog them.

The newspaper also advised gardeners to collect any fallen leaves and use them on the compost pile as they can be very useful come springtime and leaving them on the lawn will have a detrimental effect as they will block out the light.

Those collecting mistletoe from their garden to kiss under this Christmas will see it last longer if they dip the stem in wax to ensure that it retains as much moisture as possible.

"Order seeds now so you will be ready next month to start spring annuals and vegetables," the publication advised, adding that fruit and nut varieties can be planted in winter.

Meanwhile, the Mansfield News Journal has suggested that a gardening book could be the ideal Christmas present for someone interested in horticulture.