Thursday, February 21, 2019

Show your houseplants a little love...

...with a leaf wash, either by hand with a soft cloth or in the sink or shower after covering the exposed soil with an old plastic bag. Clean leaves are more efficient at taking in sunshine---and they look nicer too. At the end of the month start fertilizing house plants again. Regular, but very weak solutions are better for plants than occasional heavy fertilizations.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine's Day... a perfect time to give a friend (special friend?) a house plant. Cyclamens, orchids and cacti make great Valentine’s Day gifts that outlast cut flowers and are not demanding of a great deal of care. Nursery gift certificates may be an even better choice for a dedicated outdoor gardener.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Doing more good with your saw and pruners

Now is a great time to cut down vines that are growing on trees. Even decorative vines can grow too large for the good of a tree or too heavy for a trellis to support. And if you have any invasives such as oriental bittersweet, Japanese honeysuckle or mile-a-minute vine near you, cut them down and bag them for the trash; never compost these major horticultural felons. For more information, Google ‘MA Invasive Plant list’ which includes common and scientific names. Click on the plant name to see a photo of the felon.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Winter Vortex means you wear Gore-Tex

Late January’s extreme weather was the North Pole making a visit to your garden (minus the sleigh and reindeer). You won’t know what it means for your garden until spring. If you have plants that aren’t listed as hardy for your zone, you may have damage or even lose some. The most widespread problem will probably be damage to spring flower buds that weren’t ready for the extreme chill. In the future you can consider protecting the buds by wrapping the plant in row cover and then adding a waterproof cover—like a tarp tied over. Of course, if we have an unusually warm winter, make certain you unwrap it so the buds aren’t scorched.