New England

November, 2000
Regional Report

Pot Up Amaryllis

If you want amaryllis blooms for the holidays, purchase bulbs now and pot them up, using soilless potting mix. Place the pots in a sunny windowsill in a warm room and keep the soil moist. The bulbs will start growing flower stalks that will bloom in about 4 weeks. Be patient because some bulbs take longer than others to grow.

Group Houseplants


Houseplants like a humid environment, and winter in New England can be very dry, especially indoors. To keep your houseplants happy, group them together and place a humidifier near them. You can also place the pots on trays filled with stone with an inch or so of water in the bottom. The water will evaporate, providing some humidity for the plants.

Winterize Mowers

Now that the mowing season is finished, it\'s time to put away the mowers. To get a jump on spring, sharpen blades, change the oil, and replace worn belts now. Fill the tank with gasoline and add a gas stabilizer that will prevent water buildup over the winter.

Wrap Trees


To prevent sun scald and frost cracking on young, thin- barked trees such as maples, wrap the trunks with tree wrap or paint the south- and southwest-facing sides of the trunk with white latex outdoor paint. This will reflect the warming rays of the sun so the tree bark doesn't heat up in winter days, only to be suddenly cooled when the sun sets and the temperatures plummet.

Planning for a Live Christmas Tree

If you are planning to buy a \"live\" Christmas tree that you\'ll plant after the holiday is over, dig and prepare the planting hole now before the soil freezes. Once you\'ve dug the hole, place the soil from the hole in a nonfreezing garage or basement. When you\'re ready to plant, water the tree well before planting it into the hole.

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