Gardening guru provides answers to your winter gardening questions

The winter dormant season does not mean you need to stop gardening. There are houseplants, winter pruning and dormant spraying to be done. Plus this week is the perfect time to force flowering shrubs into early bloom.

Here are answers to your winter gardening questions.

Q. I used to live in a house with a giant forsythia bush and not only did I look forward to the yellow blooms every February, but I also had the tradition – that I think I learned from your column — of cutting branches from my forsythia in January to force into early bloom indoors. I do see my new neighbor has a forsythia bush at her house. So my question is this – can I just go over and prune off some branches to force and tell her that pruning your forsythia right now is a good idea? Maybe if you suggested this idea in your column she would see it and believe me. — J.K., Buckley

A. Yes, January is a good time to prune whips or long branches from forsythia shrubs or to thin out older, thicker stems from inside a mature shrub by cutting them back to ground level. When

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