Mid-Atlantic

January, 2014
Regional Report

Rescue Frost-Heaved Plants

Oscillating temperatures such as we experience during the proverbial January thaw can literally pop smaller plants up out of the ground. Check your perennial beds and rescue any plants that may have heaved; reset them in the ground if possible, then add mulch over their roots.

Remove Fallen Bird Seed

Spilled or fallen seeds can sprout and cause a weedy situation next summer, and sunflower hulls seem to have an allelopathic (toxic) effect on plantings. To avoid these problems, sweep often under the feeder or place it over a tarp to act as a catchall, making frequent clean-up easier.

Dust Houseplants

Over time houseplants collect dust, which blocks light and thus limits photosynthesis. Foliage can be cleaned by dusting with a soft paintbrush, gently wiping with a damp cloth, rinsing in tepid water under the kitchen sink, or spraying with a plant mister. Bigger plants can be set in the household shower (use a gentle, tepid flow) for a rain-like rinse.

Take in the Winter Wonderland

Take the opportunity during these cold weeks to view your landscape or garden from many vantage points, especially your favorite windows. Now consider if some additional evergreen plantings or plants with interesting berries or bark might enhance the views. Take notes and plant accordingly this spring.

Visit Flower Shows

It's show time! Get out your calendar and mark it -- flower and garden show time is coming round again soon! Big, world-class shows (e.g., Philadelphia Flower Show) and smaller regional shows and even local community shows are all great fun and a good excuse to get out and see what's new.

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