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WARM WINTER CHORES

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Doug Hackbarth - Broadview Florist & GreenhousesEver since December, I have been telling folks not to worry about the warm winter weather. It will get cold soon and all of your plants will be fine. That is still true, we will get extreme cold weather at some point but in the meanwhile, it may be necessary to go out and water your shrubs. I have some that are in pots, not in the ground and I have watered them 4 times already. Fertilizer is definitely not needed.

Spraying your outside plants is always a good idea during any warmer-than-normal days. Definition of "warm" weather is anything over 40-45 degrees. During the winter months, everyone wants something to do so "think-spray". Of course dormant oil (or All Season Oil) spraying should be done in late fall and again during the late winter/early spring season. Here is a homemade formula for spraying indoor & outdoor plants monthly:

To a quart jar sprayer...
1 cup Rubbing Alcohol (or Mouthwash)
1 oz. Vegetable Oil
1 Tbls. Tabasco Sauce
1 tsp. Liquid Soap

Spraying your plants with plain water helps to remove unwanted dust, which is a great host for fungus to grow. Using the homemade formula also prevents insects from finding a home.

Ground moles tunneling in your yard can be a real problem and short of killing them, they are hard to get rid of. Let's try a mixture: 1 cup alcohol (or mouthwash), 1 cup soap, 1 cup Tabasco Sauce and 1 cup Castor Oil (from the pharmacy) dumped in a bucket. Fill up the rest of the way with water than pour into the tunnel. Simply poke a hole in several places and pour the mixture in. Also you could try using a hose-on sprayer by adding the same ingredients minus the soap, then fill the bottle up the rest of the way with water and spray your yard.

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Doug Hackbarth
About This Author
Doug's is the owner of Broadview Florist & Greenhouses in Waynedale. He authors a garden & landscaping article in the newspaper. In his adolescence he attended Hillcrest, Kekionga and Elmhurst HS. His expertise has been shared in print, tv and radio.
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