Northern & Central Midwest

November, 2006
Regional Report

Plant Bare-Root Trees and Shrubs

Once leaves have fallen, trees and shrubs such as maples, dogwoods, and lindens are dormant and can be transplanted bare root. Dig them carefully and plant immediately. Put back the same soil you removed, and situate at the same depth as before.

Protect Roses After Chilling

Protect hybrid tea, floribunda, multiflora, climbing, miniature, and newly planted roses only after several days of 20-degree weather. Mound 12 to 18 inches of compost or soil mixed with chopped leaves. Prune hybrid tea roses to about 2 feet but wait to prune other roses until early next spring before growth begins.

Avoid Antidesiccants

Don't be tempted to use antidesiccant sprays on broadleaved evergreens to protect foliage from the drying effects of winter winds. Research has shown that the waxy coating from these products interferes with normal transpiration of plant foliage and causes further damage. Proper siting is the key!

Force Bulbs for Indoor Bloom

Use leftover bulbs to force for indoor blooming in the spring. Plant bulbs in shallow pots in sterile potting mix, water, and place in refrigerator, cold frame, garage, or shed where temperatures remain between 35 and 40 degrees. Bring pots out of cold storage when pale shoots begin to emerge -- 10 to 14 weeks.

Amend Garden Soil

Before coming in for hibernation, amend garden soil by adding organic matter. Organic matter helps soil hold nutrients for plants, improves aeration for roots, and improves drainage. Use compost, rotted manure, or shredded leaves. Work these into the soil now for maximum benefits next spring.

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