51February 26, 2014

It was so nice to see some of the snow melt during the warm weather of this past week. However, it looks like we will be back into the cold and snowy weather right through the beginning of March. Hopefully the old saying that if March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb will be true this year.

If you have some forsythia bushes in your yard, take your pruners and cut off some of the ends of the branches. Bring the branches into the house and put them in a vase of water. In a week or so, the flower buds on the forsythia will open and you will have some gorgeous yellow blooms in your home.

Over the past 2 weeks, we have had quite a few people come into the store with questions about how to control insects on indoor plants. In particular, any tropical plants that may have been outside last summer are now beginning to show signs of insect damage. Hibiscus that was outside last summer is now putting out new growth and in some cases new flower buds. In many cases, the flower buds are covered with aphids. You should be checking your houseplants for signs of insect infestation. If you see problems on your plants, you should spray your houseplants with an appropriate insect control for use on houseplants. If you catch the infestation now, you will save yourself a lot of headaches by not having the insects spread to other plants.

Houseplants have a period of time when they are almost dormant. This usually happened from roughly October until early March. The plants are using less water and they need less fertilizer because they are not really growing. Since we are approaching the month of March, now would be a good time to re-pot any houseplants that need to be re-potted and it would also be time to begin feeding your houseplants.

As the snow melts outside, you will some day find your lawn under all that snow. You may find that moles and voles have been tunneling through your lawn and your flowerbeds. There are granular repellents that you can apply to the lawn and flowerbeds that will drive the moles and voles out of your yard. Unfortunately, you will need to apply this once the snow has melted. Just be on the lookout for the tunnels once the snow melts.

As the snow melts, all the ice melting products you used or that were spread on the roads, will ultimately end up on the lawn. This happens from the snow and ice being moved off the driveway and walkways and shoveled onto the lawn. Areas of lawn near the road will have snow splashed up onto the lawn. All these ice melting products can damage the roots of the grass. Once the snow melts, you should be spreading horticultural gypsum onto those areas that have been exposed to ice melter. The gypsum will neutralize the ice melter and prevent damage to the lawn.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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