December, 2012
Regional Report

Bring Liquid Garden Products Inside

Liquid fertilizers, fungicides, and herbicides are chemical mixtures affected by temperature. If you want to save them to use next spring, bring them indoors to a basement or heated garage where they won't freeze over the winter.

Inspect Gift Plants for Pests and Disease

es, giving and receiving plants is a delightful holiday treat and tradition. In the store or after the thank you, inspect the plant's leaves, stems, and soil for moving or unusual-looking critters and eggs. White flies, scale, mites can all hitch rides from into your house. Wipe leaves (top and bottom) and stems clean with insecticidal soap as prevention or first defense. Isolate an infested plant while you treat it to prevent spreading a problem to other plants.

Check Holiday Plants for Bound Roots

Have you ever watered and watered a new plant, only to watch it die? Often holiday plants are so fully grown, their rootballs are very dense. A plant is rootbound when roots so fill the pot, there's almost no room for water to reach them. If your plant and its dense, dry root ball lift out of the pot intact, that's rootbound. Gently tease the roots loose, then replant in a larger pot with quality potting soil. Water thoroughly to settle soil around the roots.

Keep Watering Newly Planted Trees

Trees planted this spring, summer, and fall are still getting established and adapting to their new locations. Their roots will continue to grow until the soil freezes deeply. Assist them by watering trees well during all dry spells until the soil freezes.

Build Raised Beds and Cold Frames

Warm, early winter days lend themselves to building. Before the snow flies, measure and cut wood, then screw raised bed frames together in the vegetable garden. Build a cold frame and set it where it receives sun and is convenient for you to tend if you decide to try growing cool-weather veggies for winter salads.

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