Northern & Central Midwest

December, 2001
Regional Report

Check Stored Bulbs for Rotting

Look through all your stored summer flower bulbs for signs rotting. If there is a serious problem, remove all bulbs and replace the peat moss, sand or storage medium with fresh material. Discard any rotting bulbs, even if they have only one small bad spot. Consider moving them to a cooler spot.

Don't Send Your Christmas Tree to the Landfill

After removing all ornaments, lights and tinsel, prop your Christmas tree near birdfeeders to provide cover for the birds. You can also cut off branches to mulch perennials or broadleaved evergreens or chip it for mulch. Or, most communities have collection sites and will chip them for use on city landscapes.

Have Enough Seed Catalogs Yet?

Be sure to request the catalogs you want so you can start planning your garden. There's nothing better to do on a cold January night than sit surrounded with luscious fruits and vegetables. In many cases, you can go right to the Internet, not only to see what's available but also to order seeds.

Great Time for Construction

There is never enough time in spring to take care of all the construction projects, so think about setting up your workshop now. This is a great time to make birdhouses to have them ready for the earliest spring nesters. Also, window boxes, trellises and containers can be made ready for the first warm planting day.

Take Advantage of a January Thaw

If you get one or two days when the temperature climbs enough to avoid hurting, take the opportunity to get out and do some pruning. This is an ideal time to prune dormant deciduous trees to allow better air circulation and prevent disease next year. Wait until March, however, to prune fruit trees.

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