Mid-Atlantic

February, 2014
Regional Report

Check Corms and Tubers

Check your overwintering corms, tubers, and rhizomes, such as caladiums, cannas, dahlias, and gladiolus, to make sure these dormant plants are doing well in storage. Discard any that show signs of rot, which can be caused by too cold a location and/or too much moisture. Shriveling can be caused by too warm and/or too dry a location.

Force Flowering Branches

Harvest forsythia, pussy willow, flowering quince, apple, crabapple, and other flowering branches for indoor forcing. Submerge them in water for several hours to hydrate, place in a vase of water, and set in a cool, dark location for a week or so until the buds begin to open. Cool temperatures and high humidity will help the blooms last longer.

Schedule Spring Landscaping Work

If you expect to do substantial landscaping work this spring or summer, begin planning now so you can order necessary supplies and schedule any professional help needed for design or installation. Spring comes fast, and everyone gets busy, so make arrangements now and avoid frustrating delays.

Inspect Houseplants

Examine foliage and stems for discoloration, fine webbing, crawling insects, or anything else unusual. If you discover something troublesome, consult with a local nursery professional, your county extension office, or a good reference book to obtain a specific diagnosis, then treat accordingly, beginning with the least-toxic method.

Prune Storm Damage

Winter storm damage, such as branches broken by ice or wind, can worsen if left alone. If the damage is substantial or the limbs are large, call in a professionally trained arborist to help. On smaller trees or shrubs, begin by making a clean cut rather than leaving a jagged break. Consult a pruning manual for diagrams as to how and where to cut.

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