Middle South

December, 2007
Regional Report

Make Herbal Vinegars

Make herbal vinegars for yourself and to give as gifts. Use about 4 ounces of fresh herbs to 1 quart of white or red wine vinegar. Allow the herbs to infuse for at least two weeks. Lemon-scented herbs, such as lemon verbena, with lemon peel and peppercorns in white wine vinegar, is a nice combination. Garlic and hot pepper vinegars are also popular.

Water Plants Under Eaves

Remember to water trees and shrubs under eaves where water doesn't reach. Make sure woody plants enter winter with plenty of water, and continue to water evergreens weekly until the ground freezes. This is especially important for new plantings.

Store Water Hoses

Drain hoses and place in storage. Otherwise, any water left will freeze and expand, damaging the hose and fittings. Coil the hoses and store on a shelf; hanging them can result in kinks.

Empty Clay and Ceramic Pots

Empty outdoor ceramic and clay pots and store them in a shed or basement. If left outside, these containers may crack when the soil inside freezes and expands.

Check Houseplants for Pests

Examine houseplants for signs of pests, focusing your attention on the new growth, the leaf axils (where the leaf meets the stem), and the undersides of the leaves. Tiny spider mites, cottony-looking mealybugs, and whiteflies can all be controlled by washing foliage with warm, soapy water or with sprays of insecticidal soap.

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