Pacific Northwest

January, 2013
Regional Report

Gather Branches of Spring-Blooming Shrubs to Force Indoors

Treat yourself to an early spring by gathering branches of quince, forsythia, flowering cherry, pussy willow, or other early season bloomers. Bring indoors and place in a vase of water to force into early bloom. You'll have a roomful of springtime before the snow melts outside.

Apply Moss Control Products

If moss is a problem, now is a great time to apply some moss killer. Moss killers are formulated for either lawns or structures. Be sure to get the appropriate one to avoid problems, and apply according to label directions.

Turn the Soil in Fallow Garden Beds

If the ground is workable (not frozen and not too wet), now is an excellent time to turn the soil. Not only will this expose insect eggs to the effects of winter and hungry birds, the freezing and thawing cycle will help break apart heavy clods of dirt.

Keep Houseplant Leaves Clean

Dust on the foliage of houseplants can clog the leaves' pores. Clean them up with a damp cloth or a quick shower under the tap. Actively growing plants will benefit from a shot of liquid plant food this month. On very cold nights, it's a good idea to close the curtains or blinds between the window and your houseplants.

Remove Faded Flowers from Amaryllis

When your amaryllis has finished flowering, cut off the flower head and feed the plant with a high nitrogen fertilizer to encourage growth. It takes five to seven leaves to give the plant enough stored nutrients to be able to bloom again next year.

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