Northern & Central Midwest

January, 2008
Regional Report

Gently Remove Snow from Evergreens

Gently brush off snow on evergreens if the load gets too heavy. Don't shake branches because this may cause them to break. You can also take a rake and push the branch up from the bottom, gently loosening the snow. If the load is frozen, let it thaw naturally to avoid damaging the plant.

Vent Cold Frames and Rose Cones

During warm spells or thaws in midwinter, watch cold frames and rose cones for rising temperatures. Temperatures can spike quickly and damage or kill plants before you realize there's any damage. Vent them while the sun is up, but make sure to close them down for the cold night.

Order Seeds Early

Order seeds as early as possible to make sure you are ready to start them indoors. Ordering by mail gives you many more choices for interesting varieties, and getting seeds started at the right time means the garden will be up and running as the season gets under way.

Store Firewood Outdoors

Store firewood outdoors and bring in only what you need when ready to build a fire. Firewood is an ideal spot for overwintering insects, and if you bring it in and let it warm up, you will have unwanted guests. Never treat firewood with pesticides.

Water Houseplants Thoroughly

When watering houseplants, apply enough water to moisten the entire soil volume. Allow it to drain thoroughly and then empty any standing water. Every third or fourth watering, water twice to allow the second watering to leach out any soluble salts in the soil. Be sure to empty the saucer to prevent root damage.

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