Mid-Atlantic

November, 2003
Regional Report

Chill Bonsai

Bonsai and container plants native to cold winter regions may require a dormant period each winter, with temperatures between about 20 and 40 degrees. A slightly heated greenhouse or, interestingly enough, a spare household refrigerator set at 35 degrees, can provide just about the perfect controlled chill.

Keep Raking

The leaves of autumn are upon us, literally. The more we rake, the more seem to fall from the sky. Lawn mower bagger attachments, electric or gas-powered blowers, and even the old trusty rake are all good tools for the job. A thick accumulation will smother the lawn, so keep at it.

Mow Once More

Once you have raked off most of the leaves, mow your lawn one last time. This will chop up any lingering leaves and tidy things up before winter. The shorter lawn will be less likely to contract diseases under the snow, and it will start out in good shape come spring.

Deter Deer

Deer browse repeatedly by habit in the same places. If spray-on repellents don\'t work, you\'ll need to provide some barriers. Protect individual shrubs with wire mesh cages, protect tree trunks from antler rubbing with wire mesh cylinders, and consider installing a very tall fence or perhaps an electrified fence.

Bring in Porous Clay Pots

Pots made of porous materials, such as terra cotta or clay, can be damaged by freezing weather. Any moisture in the clay expands when frozen and can crack, crumble, or shatter the pot. Bring the pots inside for the winter, or if you store them in a cold area, make sure they are bone dry.

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