Inland Northwest, High Desert

January, 2004
Regional Report

Foil Those Spider Mites

This is probably the worst time of year for spider mites on indoor plants. They simply appear. And no wonder, with the air as dry as it is in our homes. Buy a small, pretty mister to keep on the counter. Keep it filled with pure (untreated) water, and use it every day on your plants. Spider mites will hate you.

Favor the Flowers

It's easier to see what needs pruning in winter when branches are bare, but hold those pruners if the plant blooms. Might as well let spring bloomers show their stuff before you prune them back. Cut them now and they'll just be Plain Janes.

Pot Up Leftover Bulbs

You thought you planted them all. But no matter how hard you try, you'll almost always find another handful of bulbs in the garage or potting shed about now. What a happy accident! Fill a pot halfway with good potting soil. Nestle as many bulbs as will fit without touching one another. Fill to the tips of their noses with more soil. Water. Soon you'll have the first colors of spring on your dining room table.

Check Your Tools

The end of the season was a busy one. Canning, freezing, and cleaning up the garden took a lot of time. Did you have a chance to clean, sharpen, and oil your tools? Now that the weather is lousy enough to keep us inside, it's a good time to busy yourself with these chores.

Scour the Catalogs

Lots of plant catalogs with lots of garden choices -- new and old -- come to the mailbox now. This is one time when the early bird really does get the worm: Get your orders in now while selection is best.

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