Mid-Atlantic

November, 2000
Regional Report

More Light for Houseplants


Shorter days mean that fewer hours of sunshine reach your houseplants in winter. Help maximize the available sunlight by removing and storing window screens and then washing the windows. Cleaner windows will transmit more light. Also, open the curtains and raise the blinds as early as possible every morning to maximize the amount of light the plants get.

Terra Cotta Pot Care


Treat your terra cotta flower pots with care. Terra cotta is a porous substance and absorbs moisture, which, when frozen, will expand. That expansion may cause a pot to crack, crumble, or shatter. To prevent such damage, clean out terra cotta pots now and store them in a location that stays dry and does not freeze.


Storing Summer Bulbs

When storing tubers, corms, or bulbs of summer- blooming plants such as dahlias indoors for the winter, keep in mind that air circulation will help prevent them from molding or rotting. Do not store them in plastic bags, but use breathable containers such as cardboard boxes, paper bags, or recycled mesh bags from citrus fruit or onions. Pack with dry shavings or vermiculite. Keep the bulbs barely moist and check them regularly through the winter for rotting.


Extend the Greens Season


Enjoy fall greens and cold-season vegetables to the last possible moment by providing them with a little extra insulation. Covering them with a frost blanket, enclosing them in a poly tunnel, or growing them under a cold frame are all good methods of helping arugula and spinach to survive cold weather and remain available for harvest until December.

Mulch Beds


Fall is an ideal time to top off the mulch layer in your perennial beds and around shrub plantings. Use an organic material such as shredded bark or chopped leaves. Remove any existing old mulch, fluff the soil lightly, and add enough fresh mulch to maintain a layer several inches thick.

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