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Trees & Shrubs

- If planting out holiday trees, make sure to minimize air pockets around root system by thoroughly chopping up large clods of soil and apply adequate water as you fill the hole.
- Planting of conifers and broad-leaved evergreens should wait until early spring.
- There is still time to install protective barriers for cold sensitive plants.
- Protect plants susceptible to animal damage - wire cage or protective collar.

Flowers & herbaceous perennials, biennials, annuals

- Perennials should be mulched with shredded leaves, straw or other organic mulches.
- Make sure existing plantings of herbaceous perennials and biennials are labeled to minimize damage when digging next spring.
- Start planning for Spring 2004 by perusing the catalogs.

Lawns

- Remove leaves from the grass and if possible, compost them.
- Winterize lawn equipment.
- Avoid heavy traffic over lawns at this time.

Vegetable Garden

- Continue to clean all tools and store for winter.
- Mulch overwintering herbs and vegetables with a few inches of salt hay, straw or other organic mulches.
- Continue planning for the spring and review the seed catalogs.

Indoor Plants

- Monitor plants for insects if brought in from outside. Most common problems are scale, mealybugs, and spider mites. Insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils (refer to label for houseplants) are effective controls for these problems.
- Use tepid water to water plants.
- Grow slows down so avoid normal fertilization practices until mid- to late winter.
- Maintain or increase humidity by using a humidifier or open trays of water.
- Keep holiday plants away from cool drafts and heat sources.

If Plants Could Talk features gardening tips from local university experts, successful farmers, master gardeners, and many other plant experts. Topics include new and interesting plant varieties, safe and effective pest control, step-by-step cultural tips for landscape and garden, and visits to local farms, arboretums, and backyard gardens.

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This Month's Feature
Plant Talk
Plant Talk
Bill Hlubik's weekly article for 5/22/2008
Deer Tolerant Plants
Listing of Deer tolerant plants.
The Asian Longhorn Beetle
Video on the devastating infestation of this insect.
How to Test Your Soil
View this slideshow and find out how you can have your soil tested.