Cartoon of Winter SceneAfter an unusually warm, delightful fall, it looks like winter is coming to Las Vegas!

Winterize your irrigation system; make sure your backflow prevention device is wrapped to prevent cracking/ water leaks.  Protect citrus and other cold-sensitive plants (but don’t wrap in plastic and remember to remove coverings during the daytime).

Die back is natural in perennials such as lantanas and ornamental grasses.  Resist the urge to “clean up” the dead foliage – it acts as insulation.  Cut back when new growth begins in the Spring.

Winter is a great time to prune your deciduous trees and shrubs.  Remove branches that are rubbing against each other, suckers and water sprouts.

Click here for info on freezing temps  or contact the Master Gardeners at 702-257-5555 or visit/like the Master Gardener Facebook page.

Mondale Pine

Mondale Pine

Living Christmas trees can provide the best of both worlds.

Cutting down a tree, keeping it for a short time, then throwing it in the trash, feels like a waste.

Once, I would decorate my Ficus benjamina (weeping fig) for December, and have a big houseplant the rest of the year.

But now I am a traditionalist; it must be an evergreen for the holidays, and I prefer keeping a tree alive.

Like every other living thing, however, a living Christmas tree requires care.

Angela O’Callaghan explains what to look for and how to care for a living Christmas Tree!

As we approach yet another holiday season, people of all ages will be going out in droves to buy gifts for their loved ones. It is time to begin our personal holy quests to find special somethings for those special someones.

In the midst of all the excitement, however, we barely notice that a dilemma has crept into the world of gift-giving; we have increasingly less time and live farther apart. This has a profound impact on all facets of our social lives, not just choosing gifts. Social scientists note that, even under the same roof, family members are spending less time together. This raises concerns about family cohesion, particularly between the young and old.

At highest risk are young people in dire need of guidance and nurturing. The prospect of “going it alone” is difficult for many elders as well; undesired social isolation is often associated with physical and psychological stress and decline.

Find gift ideas for old to young, young to old and joint giving!

Penn State, Extension, Youth and Family, Intergenerational Program, Articles

 

Photo of Christmas treeTraditions…the Christmas tree is possibly the most obvious example. Would it really be a holiday if there were no Christmas trees?

When December rolls around, homes around the country must often be reorganized in order to accommodate a tree, whether it is to be fir or spruce, fresh cut, potted, or even artificial.

Now most of the US and Europe follow the custom, although there are many explanations as to how it became so important.

Angela O’Callaghan, Social Horticulture Specialist for Cooperative Extension explains the Christmas trees’ origin.

Physical activity is important to get your children ready for future success. Physical activity is great for the brain, muscles, bones, the heart, and lungs.

Clipart of musical notesThere are also lots of easy ways children can be active without equipment.
• Make an indoor bowling alley with homemade pins (made from empty cups or water bottles) and a small soft rubber ball.
• Try shooting hoops with toys when cleaning up (shoot toys into a toy box) or shoot socks into a laundry “basket.”
• Crank up the music and boogie down. Music can brighten a day and brings out laughter. What better way to have a great day than by holding a dance night with your family! Turn on the radio or CD player to your favorite music. Let kids take turns using a flashlight as a strobe light for a disco night. Teach children a dance from the past or do something goofy like playing the Limbo.

More tips can be found here!