Northern & Central Midwest

December, 2012
Regional Report

Don't Store Firewood Indoors

Many types of insects spend the winter under bark or burrowed in wood, so don't bring them indoors to warm up and become your companions. Leave firewood outside until you are ready to use for a fire. Don't be tempted to treat firewood with pesticides.

Continue Watering Evergreens

The air is cold, but the ground is not yet frozen. Continue watering evergreens until snow falls, to help them get through the winter. They don't go completely dormant, so need to be well-hydrated for winter. This will help prevent needle loss and stress.

Water Your Christmas Tree Daily

Give your tree a fresh cut before bringing it indoors. Put it in a tree stand that holds at least a gallon of water or set the stand in a plastic basin filled with water. Try not to let the tree ever dry out and use only fresh water without preservatives every day. Preservatives do not prolong the life of the tree.

Keep Holiday Plants Blooming

Holiday blooming plants will keep their flowers longer if you put them in a cool room, away from drafts. Keep the soil only slightly moist, and remove foil wrappers to allow plants to drain properly after watering. Check moisture levels regularly and water only when the top inch or so of potting mix is dry.

Monitor Temperatures in Cold Frames

When the temperatures drop, be ready to insulate the sides of the cold frame with straw bales or bags of leaves. You can also put milk jugs with warm water inside during the day to absorb heat which they release at night. On very cold nights, cover the lid with blankets.

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