Northern & Central Midwest

November, 2011
Regional Report

Clean Up the Orchard

Clean up your orchard as thoroughly as possible. Fallen fruits are the number one hiding place for pests and diseases. Removing all fallen fruit and leaves will go a long way to reducing problems next year. Dig a hole somewhere away from the orchard and bury the debris to keep it from re-infecting the trees.

Clean Your Tools

Find some time to haul out your hand tools to clean before putting them away for winter. Soil left on metal parts is very corrosive and will shorten the life of your tools. Wash them off in a tub of warm water, scrub rust off with a wire brush or steel wool, dry thoroughly and then rub with a light film of oil.

Start a Worm Bin

Set up a worm composting bin in your kitchen or basement to take care of your kitchen scraps and avoid trips to the outside compost pile. You can purchase a ready-made system or you can make your own from a large plastic tub. Check the web for details on how to set it up.

Carefully Place Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus should be setting its buds by now. Usually it simply takes a day at about forty five degrees to start thing off. Once you see the tiny nubs on the end of the leaves, find a permanent spot and don't be tempted to move it. Any temperature change can cause the buds to drop.

Bring Amaryllis into Bloom

Time your amaryllis for Christmas bloom. It usually takes four to six weeks to produce a flower from the time you begin watering. If you stored last year's bulb, replace the top inch of potting soil, move into a warm spot and begin watering

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