Northern & Central Midwest

February, 2012
Regional Report

Transplant Trees and Shrubs Now

If you've had a mild winter as many of us have, you can get out and transplant trees, shrubs, and perennials as long as you can get a shovel in the ground. When you transplant, be sure to bring a bucket of water and water in carefully to fill in all air pockets. Watch for frost heaving after planting.

Make Seed Tapes

Make your own seed tapes. Cut newspaper into long strips and mix a paste of flour and water. Brush the paper with the glue and use an artist's paintbrush to touch a seed to the glue. Space seeds like carrot or lettuce appropriately to avoid having the thin. Allow to dry and roll up and store until planting season.

Make Plant Markers

Make your own plant markers for the garden to avoid the high costs of commercially produced markers. Use seed packets or pictures from catalogs, wooden stakes and blocks, and decoupage materials. The decoupage finish will protect them from the elements. Be creative!

Save Amaryllis for Summer

If you forgot to force your amaryllis into bloom for the holidays, you can have them bloom on the patio this summer. Leave them dormant for now, but time them to bloom about six to eight weeks after you begin watering. Replace an inch of their soil, water and bring into warmth. Move onto the patio after danger of frost.

Start Tuberous Begonias

It's time to revive tuberous begonias for summer bloom. Plant them in rich potting mix, water well, and bring them into a warm room. As soon as the foliage appears, put them in a well-lighted spot and keep the soil slightly moist. Harden them to the outdoors gradually once frost danger has passed.

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