12November 12, 2014

Do you know where your garden chemicals are? Many people keep their garden insecticides, weed killers and fungus controls in the garage or in a shed. Did you know that many of your liquid controls could freeze in an unheated garage or an unheated shed or barn. Many of these liquids that ultimately freeze over the winter will have diminished ability to control the insects, diseases or weeds that you will be treating next year. In some cases, the product won’t work at all. Any product that comes in an aerosol should also be kept from freezing. Now is the time to gather up all those liquids and aerosols and place them someplace where they won’t freeze over the winter. You spend a lot of money on these liquid controls. Don’t let the winter ruin those products. Get them moved into an area where they won’t freeze this winter.

Many of you enjoy having Amaryllis in bloom for the holidays. It takes about 6 weeks from the time you plant up the Amaryllis until it is ready to bloom. Now is the time to buy your Amaryllis bulbs and get them going if you want them in bloom in time for the holidays.

Paperwhite bulbs take only about 4 weeks from the time they are potted up until they are in bloom. There are now lightly scented paperwhites that are good for people who don’t like the scent of regular paperwhites. If you have grown paperwhites in the past, you may find that the flower stalks tend to get floppy. Researchers have found that if you use a 2 to 3 percent solution of alcohol and water, you will have flower stalks that grow much shorter. You can use most types of alcohol. If you have whisky or other hard liquors they will work. You can also use rubbing alcohol. You should not use beer or wine. We have a sheet at the store that tells you how to do the mix. Stop by the store and you can pick one up. We have plenty of paperwhites in stock, but I have heard that they are in short supply from the growers. This may be the year that if you wait too long, you may not be able to buy the bulbs.

If you have plants that you brought inside for the winter, make sure to keep a close eye on the plants for signs of insect infestations. Once plants are inside, the insect populations can skyrocket very quickly. One telltale sign of insect damage is a sticky residue on the leaves of your plants. This sticky residue is sugar that is excreted by the insects. The insects cannot digest all the sugars in the sap and ultimately they excrete out the sugar. If you notice a problem on your plants, even if you treated the plants before you brought the plants indoors, get busy and use an appropriate insecticide to control the insects.

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

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