Pacific Northwest

November, 2007
Regional Report

Prepare for Cold Snaps

If there is a sudden drop in the temperature, provide extra protection for your more tender flowering plants. You can provide temporary emergency protection by driving in three or four stakes around the plant, and then simply covering the plant with some type of cloth like burlap, a sheet, or an old blanket. Don't let this material come into direct contact with the leaves of the plant. Remove the cover completely as soon as the weather moderates.

Protect Garden Ornaments

Stone and clay fountains, garden ornaments, and statuary may crack if left outdoors in freezing weather. To be on the safe side, drain water, clean them well, and move them into an unheated garage or shed for winter storage.

Check Bulbs

Keep an eye on any bulbs that you potted for winter forcing. Make sure they remain moist and in the dark until they have established their root systems. It is possible they have already filled their containers with roots and the new top growth has begun. If this is so, bring them into the house and set them in a cool room in indirect light. After a week or so, move them into bright light, and watch them go to town!

Protect Container Plants

An easy way to protect the roots of outdoor container plants through winter is to sink the pots into the ground to the top of the lip. Another method is to place the pots inside larger pots and then fill the void between the pots with dry potting soil. The air space between the pots will help maintain suitable temperatures for the roots.

Weed, Weed, Weed

One last effort at weeding will keep your garden looking neat throughout the winter. Any weed that you can eliminate from the garden this fall will prevent hundreds of weed seeds from sprouting in the garden next spring! Keep the lawn and garden raked clean of leaves and debris. Fallen leaves, old plant parts, and grass clippings should be added to the compost pile.

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