Mid-Atlantic

November, 2000
Regional Report

Protect Hoses

In preparation for winter, turn off the garden water supply and insulate any spigots as needed. Empty and drain irrigation equipment such as hoses and spigots to avoid freezing damage during the coming months. (If you have an in ground system you may need to have it blown out, check the manufacturer\'s/installer\'s instructions.) Inspect hoses carefully and make any needed repairs, then store them away neatly for the winter in an area that does not freeze.

Ready the Bird Feeders


Prepare for winter bird-feeding activity. Clean the bird feeder thoroughly, removing old seed and washing it; inspect it and perform any needed repairs. Install the feeder in a location safe from predators such as outdoor cats and, if possible, render it inaccessible to thieving squirrels.

Build a Potter's Station


Make yourself an indoor potting station to perform houseplant maintenance now and to pot up seedlings next spring. I like to use a large, shallow, plastic storage bin that holds basic tools and supplies and stashes neatly in a closet or under the bed. The plastic lid does double duty as an easy-to-clean (and waterproof) work surface.

Removing Ladybugs


If ladybugs are using your house as a safe place to hibernate, don't be alarmed. They will not hurt you, and they will devour many aphids in your garden next summer. If you don't like sharing your house with them, exclude them by caulking any gaps on the building's exterior such as around window frames and doors. In the meantime, vacuum them up and send them back outdoors.

Pot Up Amaryllis

Amaryllis bulbs take about 4 to 6 weeks to bloom once they have been watered and started into active growth. Pot up your amaryllis in clay pots filled with soilless potting mix. Place them in a bright location and keep the soil barely moist while you wait. Once the plant begins to bloom, keep it at a cool room temperature (60F) out of direct sun for the longest possible flower display.

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