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Garde Plot: Now’s the time to prep your garden for spring and summer

A green gage plum tree is seen bloom. Now is the time to prune fruit trees if you want them to bear as much fruit as possible in the coming months. (Diane Lynch / For The Ark)

If you think you get to sit in your recliner and browse the seed catalogs all of January, think again. Pruning, planting and spraying dormant oil on fruit trees top the list of garden chores this month. Once the garden is nicely soaked, be sure to put some mulch around to preserve some of that soil moisture into the coming months.


It’s bare root season, and local nurseries such as West End Nursery in San Rafael, Sloat Garden Center in Mill Valley and Harmony Farm Supply in Sebastopol erect plywood bins and have field-grown dormant fruit and nut trees in moist sawdust available for purchase. This is the best and most vigorous root system you’ll ever get on a new tree. It should be planted right after you get home or kept moist until the rain stops. Other plants are available bare root too, including roses, asparagus, berries and grapes.

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