13December 23, 2015

It’s hard to believe that it is almost Christmas. If you add another week or so to that time and we are into 2016. Wow!

How does water in December preserve your property value?  If you are like most homeowners, you have a fair amount of money invested in your landscape. Mother Nature may have supplied you with a few trees; you planted some shrubs and some perennials. If you had to replace all of that at one time, it would probably be expensive. If you are a regular reader of this column, you know that I advocate watering your trees and shrubs in the fall. The plants take up water and store the water in the stems and twigs. Any of your evergreen shrubs that retain their leaves through the winter also store water in the leaves. We are in an area of New England that is buffeted with a lot of dry winds in the winter. These dry winds pull moisture out of the stems, twigs and leaves. If the winds howl all winter, plants can dry out and die from dehydration. This is why it is important to get as much moisture as possible into your plants. For many years, I have made the point about keeping up with watering right up until the ground freezes. I have told you that you should be watering your plants once a week. I jokingly have said that if your day to water is Thursday and the ground is still thawed and Thursday is Christmas Eve, then you should still be watering your plants. I have to admit that I never expected that this would happen, but this is the year of watering your plants at Christmas and maybe even New Years.

Since we never know what the winter will bring, give your trees and shrubs a fighting chance and keep up with the watering of your trees and shrubs.

If you put any of your houseplants out for the summer and brought them in for the winter or if you brought in some annuals to save them for the winter, the plants have probably been in the house over a month. Now would be a good time to check the plants for any sign of insect infestations. The warm and dry air in our houses makes for an ideal breeding condition for many insects. Spider mites, aphids and mealybugs are the common insects that will attack your plants. If you can catch an infestation early, you can control the insects before they become a major problem that can lead to the death of your plants.

Well, that’s all for this week. If you celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas. Otherwise have a Joyous Winter Solstice Festival! (Being politically correct to all!) I’ll talk to you again next week.

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