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The Neighborhood Gardener – January 2012

Moonlight Bay aglaonemaHappy New Year! This month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

  • Getting Your Tools Ready for Spring — The first of the year is a great time to clean up and fix up, before plants really get growing. A quick cleaning will help keep your garden equipment in the best shape possible to take on the battles of spring gardening. Start by taking stock of your equipment. Remove any equipment that is beyond repair or isn’t useful in your garden. Next, check each type of tool and perform maintenance on them.
  • Plant of the Month: Chinese Evergreen — Chinese evergreen, also known as aglaonema, is a versatile houseplant that requires minimal care. Some varieties have solid green leaves, but most cultivars have interesting variegation in shades of silver, gray, or light green. Plant Chinese evergreen in a rich potting media and place in areas that receive medium to low light. These plants have low water requirements so it’s important not to overwater, which may trigger other problems.
  • January in Your Garden – Prune trees and shrubs, taking care with flowering plants—you don’t want to trim off developing buds. Don’t cut off cold damage until all chances of frost have passed. Deadhead camellias and pick up fallen blossoms to prevent disease. Start seeds indoors for warm-season annuals like tomatoes, marigolds, and others.
  • Friend or Foe? Friend: Spined Soldier Bug — Soldier bugs, also known as stink bugs, are known as pests as well as useful predators. While some eat plants, the spined soldier bug preys on many important economic pests, including the larvae of the Colorado potato beetle and the fall armyworm. Learn how to identify this “good-guy” stink bug.
  • Extension Specialist Update – Email is a very important communication tool. Education and Media Coordinator Emily Eubanks shares tips about how to use it most effectively in her presentation, “Email Etiquette.”

Read the full January issue.

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