Western Mountains and High Plains

December, 2008
Regional Report

Keep Poinsettias Cool

To keep poinsettias happy and colorful, place them in a cool location where daytime temperatures don't exceed 75 degrees F. Avoid direct sunlight; locate plants where they will receive bright, indirect light.

Water Holiday Plants Carefully

Most holiday plants prefer to be watered only when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch. Then, apply enough water so it drains out. Discard excess water in the drainage saucer.

Check Outdoor Faucets

Take a few minutes to walk around the house and landscape to check outdoor faucets and hoses. Be sure that hoses are unscrewed from hydrants or they will burst a pipe when there's a hard freeze. It's best to drain hoses and store them in a protected place.

Dispose of Tourist Bugs

Boxelder bugs, elm leaf beetles, and weevils often find their way indoors to survive the cold. Use the vacuum cleaner to eliminate these "tourist bugs." It's much safer than pesticides.

Dig Planting Hole for Live Christmas Tree

If you plan to purchase a living Christmas tree, dig the planting hole before the ground freezes solid. For safety, cover the hole with wooden planks or a sheet of plywood. Set the backfill soil aside and cover with a few bales of straw so it won't freeze.

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