11December 28, 2011

I thought that I would go over a few things that you should be doing to kind of finish up the year.

If you put your plants outside for the summer, you probably brought the plants inside during September or October. Most of you will have treated the plants for insects before you brought the plants indoors. Since it has been a few months since you treated your plants, it would be a good idea to check those plants now to make sure that you did kill all of those insects that wanted to hitch a ride indoors for the winter. A common sign of insects on your plants would be a sticky substance on the leaves of your plants. As insects feed on your plants, they generally suck the juices out of the plant. This juice or sap is high in sugar. Many insects cannot digest all that sugar and the excess sugar is excreted out by the insect. The stickiness on the leaves is that excess sugar. If you see sticky leaves, you should treat your plants with an insecticide.

You may also see insects on your plants. Aphids will generally feed on new growth or flower buds. Scale will show up as small bumps on the upper or lower surfaces of the leaves. Mealy bugs will appear as a cottony looking growth of the leaves. If you see any of these problems, it is best to treat for these insects as soon as possible. The longer you wait to treat for an insect infestation, the harder it is to get rid of the insects.

I know that I have told you about cleaning up your garden tools before you put the tools away for the winter. Sap on hand pruners, loping shears and saws can cause blades to rust. Sap build up also makes it harder for your tools to make a clean cut. Rubbing alcohol will remove the sap. Once the sap is removed, you should also sharpen these tools. Shovels, spading forks, hoes and metal rakes will all rust if you do not clean the dirt off these tools. Once they are cleaned up an application of a silicone spray will help to protect the metal for the winter.

Your lawn mower should also go in for servicing now. A tune up and having the oil changed and having the blades sharpened will make your mower ready for spring. Spring is, after all, just around the corner!

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

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