Northern & Central Midwest
Keep Houseplant Pests Under Control
Pests on houseplants can reach high numbers this time of year. Whether they came in when plants were brought indoors for the winter or came in from a newly purchased plant, keep close watch and control them quickly. Shower plants regularly for good control.
Choose Deer-Resistant Plants
Deer nibbling your landscape? When planning for next year, here are a few plants that deer seem to avoid: ash, birches, junipers, hemlocks, boxwoods, forsythia, lilacs, spirea, ferns, lily-of-the-valley, sweet woodruff, bittersweet, grapes, honeysuckle, trumpet creeper, wisteria, crocuses, daffodils, grape hyacinths, and snowdrops.
Renew a Waning African Violet
To rejuvenate an African violet, first knock the plant out of its pot. Remove all the flowers and flower buds, and all but the three center leaves. Cut off the roots and old crown, leaving a 1-inch segment of crown attached to the remaining leaves. Scrape away the outside layer of the crown tissue, dip the stub into rooting hormone, and repot.
Plan the Spring Garden
Start planning your garden now. For a new one, choose a sunny, well-drained spot close to the house. Make sure you have a water supply handy. Determine size by the needs of your family as well as your ability to commit time to taking care of it.
Choose Vegetables Wisely
Pick vegetable varieties according to what you and your family enjoy. Determine how much room you have and how many you want to grow before ordering plants or seeds. When starting seedlings, remember that you can always give away what you don't need.