Gardening

Take advantage of warm winter days

I’ve been taking advantage of these unseasonably warm days this winter, I hope you have too.

Take today, for example, the last day of January.  It’s nearly 60 degrees outside.  That gave me a chance to haul out all of the plants I’ve been wintering indoors.

A few potted plants after getting an outdoor shower on a mild winter day.

When plants stay inside all winter the insect and mite population can get out of hand.  Also, household dust can collect and clog stomata, the microscopic pores on leaves.  It’s through the stomata that plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.  If those pores become clogged, photosynthesis slows down, which in turn weakens the plant.

So, in winter, indoor plants are subjected to a double whammy.  They are weakened by clogged stomata and then are attacked by a growing pest problem.

The best thing you can do for your plants is to take them outside on mild winter days and hose them down with water. That’s exactly what I did today.  I made sure to spray the under-side of the leaves as well as the top.

Today I also had a chance to moisten the tubers and geraniums that are in winter storage.  It’s a lot easier to do this job outside where I don’t have to worry about getting water all over the place.

Plan to take your plants out the next warm day – if we have one. They will thank you for it.

 

Bob Dluzen
As a result of being a gardener for more than 40 years, 30 of those as a professional, Bob's gardening has become an integral part of his life. "It's the ever-changing seasons and the wide variety of plants and gardens that keeps me intrigued," he says. Bob lives and gardens in rural Monroe County.