Northern & Central Midwest

January, 2010
Regional Report

Start Planning Vegetable Garden

Put your garden to paper and remember to rotate your crops. Moving crops around in the garden from year to year will help discourage pests that remain in the soil, and can also help your plants get the nutrition they need by replacing heavy feeders with light feeders.

Save on Bird Seed

Many types of birds will feed on more than just birdseed. Add chopped fruit, bread and crackers, popcorn, oats, other nuts and grains, and other leftover foods along with more expensive seed. You may be pleasantly surprised when new bird species are attracted to these unique foods.

Create a Planting Calendar

Start a seed planting calendar. First, determine your average last spring frost date. Then read seed packets to determine the proper time to start indoors or in the garden relative to that date. Mark these on your planning calendar so you'll be ready to go.

Keep Holiday Plants Healthy

Pay special attention to moisture, temperature, and light needs for holiday plants. Most blooming plants benefit from a cool room without direct heat or drafts. After blooming, either discard or move into a sunny spot until they can be moved outdoors in spring.

Take Care with Salt

If you must use de-icing salt, use calcium chloride near plants as it is less damaging. Only apply the amount of salt needed to do the job, and consider mixing the salt with sand. Consider where the snowmelt goes and the plants that may be affected before piling snow.

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Special Report - Garden to Table

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