33 December 30, 2006

The weather has made this one of the strangest late fall / early winters that I can remember. With the warm weather, you could be tempted to plant something outside. I suppose it will eventually it will get cold. We can only hope that it won’t get cold.


While selling Christmas trees this past few weeks, we would use a saw to place a fresh cut on the bottom of the tree. We would use pruners to remove any stray small branches. Over time, the tools would gunk up with sap and we would need to clean the tools. It made me think that this is a project we should do on all the tools we use during the year at the garden center. Have you prepared your tools for the winter? Sap quickly forms on cutting tools. You can use a screwdriver or a putty knife to scrape off the sap. Rubbing alcohol works well at removing the sap too. Once the sap is removed, you should coat the metal pieces with oil or a silicone spray. Shovels, metal rakes and all other metal tools should be cleaned of soil, sap and rust. The tools should be treated with oil or a silicone spray. Store them in a dry place to prevent rusting.

It would also be a good time of the year to look at the tools you have and to make a list of those tools you need to replace. You should buy the tools before the spring gardening season rolls around. How many of you have gone out to clean up the lawn in the spring and found that the rake got broken in the fall? You have to run out and buy a new rake and you end up losing an hour or two just running around to get the things you need to do that particular garden chore you want to start. Plan ahead now and in the 12 weeks before the weather warms up, you will be ready to garden again.


As we close out this year, I want to take a few moments to thank you all for reading this column each week. It is nice to hear from people that they read it each week. As many have said, they read it each week, even if they don’t do all of the things that I tell you it is time to do. Spring at Harbor Garden Center was a tough season. As many of you know, we had to close the store after Mother’s Day due to the flooding of our store and surrounding outdoor sales area. Many of you stopped by to offer help. I greatly appreciate all those offers of aid. A big thank you to all of those people who waited for the flood waters to recede so that they could to shop at our store. Several avid gardeners told me that they usually split up their shopping at many of the local stores. However, this year, they tried to buy as much as possible from our store to help us survive the flood. That gesture meant a lot to me.  Hopefully, we never have to endure that kind of a spring again.


2007 marks the 25 Th year for Harbor Garden Center. To me it seems like just yesterday that I opened the doors for the first time. I don’t know if these old bones have another 25 years of hard work in them, but for now it is plugging along as usual. Here’s hoping for an early spring and perfect gardening weather for all of 2007.


I’ll talk to you again next week.

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