Northern & Central Midwest

February, 2009
Regional Report

Do Late Winter Pruning

This is the ideal time to do some late winter pruning. Whenever the weather outdoors is tolerable, bundle up and get out your pruners. Pruning while the plants are dormant allows you to see their form and prune accurately. It won't be long before they are covered with the soft green of spring flush.

Monitor Houseplant Light Needs

Watch houseplants as the sun's angle shifts for spring. They may need more light since the higher sun shines in windows less. What sun there is will be stronger, however, so just keep an eye on plants and move them around as necessary during season changes.

Wait to Repot Houseplants

Don't be too eager to repot houseplants. Gather pots and soil, but don't repot until late April, early May when you want them to start their spring burst of growth. Keep them evenly watered and hold off on fertilizing as well. Prune only as needed to keep them tidy.

Plant Basil for the Windowsill

Basil is a long way off for the outdoor garden, so start seeds on the windowsill. Give the plants plenty of light and keep them away from cold window panes. Clip frequently to use in cooking and the plants will stay somewhat shrubby. Don't be tempted to try to move them outdoors in spring.

Start Cole Crop Seeds

Start seeds of broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower at the beginning of March. Make sure to start seeds in sterile soil, clean pots and use bottom heat to assure good germination. As soon as seedlings poke above the soil, provide twelve hours of very close fluorescent light.

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