Northern & Central Midwest

December, 2010
Regional Report

Vent Cold Frames

Even though the weather may be cold, remember to vent cold frames on sunny days. The sun can build up heat quickly in a frame, and the tender plants can cook. Insulate the sides with straw bales or bags of leaves. On very cold nights, be ready with blankets for the glass.

Sort Your Seeds

Go through your seed box and discard old seeds now before beginning ordering for spring. Make sure everything is labeled and taped shut. Once you have decided what to keep, put the seeds in plastic bags or glass jars and put in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.

Vacuum Bugs

If you do have home invaders such as boxelder bugs and lady beetles, simply vacuum them up. They are looking for a warm, protected place to spend the winter. They are harmless, and don't be tempted to smash them as they may leave a stain on walls or carpets.

Store Firewood Outside

Don't be tempted to store firewood in the house. Many different types of insects spend their winter in wood, and we don't want to bring them into the house to wander around. Leave the wood outdoors until you are ready to build a fire. Don't treat firewood with pesticides.

Keep Holiday Plants Blooming

Keep holiday plants blooming by putting them in a cool room, away from warm or cool drafts. Keep the soil slightly moist, and if they came in a foil wrapper, remove it regularly to make sure it is not holding water. Check moisture levels regularly and only water when needed.

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