Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern & Central Midwest

January, 2007
Regional Report

Web Finds

The NOAA Satellite and Information Service
The NOAA Satellite and Information Service is a government organization that offers a great deal of information on all aspects of climate and satellite data. This is a great site to cruise around for information on weather and related subjects. This particular place on the site has national frost-free dates as well as last frost dates. Once you find the information for your area, confirm it with your local Extension Service.

Favorite or New Plant

Norfolk Island Pine
Norfold Island pines (Araucaria heterophylla) are woody evergreens that grow to about 5 feet tall in the home and provide attractive architectural features, not to mention making great-looking live holiday trees. They perform best in indirect bright light but no direct sun. Norfolk pine will tolerate a wide range of temperatures but should be kept somewhat cool in winter (around 55 degrees F). They do need high humidity, and keep the soil evenly moist in summer and considerably drier in winter. Once-a-year fertilization is plenty, and they seldom need repotting unless they get very large. Keeping them in a smaller pot will restrict growth and not allow them to outgrow their spot. Norfolk pines benefit from being moved outdoors to a protected spot in summer. If you use the plant as a Christmas tree, use only lightweight ornaments and avoid lights since they dry out the needles.

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