Mid Winter Tips

Written by gardeningquestions  |  19. February 2001

Winter gardening and flower tips! Everyday cut flower Tips; 1) Roses and cut flowers must always be fresh cut just before placing in vase. Every 3-4 days replace water in vase with fresh water and cut flower stems once again. Keeping vase water fresh is the key to long lasting flowers! 2) Add a few ice cubes daily to keep water chilled and the water fresh. This step will help increase the length of time your fresh cut flowers will last. 3) Make sure to use cut flower food in vase water. Cut flowers need all the help they can get! 4) Placing a penny in a vase filled with tulips will help the tulip stems stay straight and sturdy. A tip from one of my senior customers is to add a little vodka to the water!? She claims it makes the flowers last a long time!? We have tried it and sure enough.... it worked! Now we have our very own Tulip Martini Mix! 5) Cut roses even under the best conditions at times wilt over. You should take them and fresh cut the stems. Next place them in a tall bucket filled with warm water up to their necks. You can also fresh cut them and lay them in a bath tub of water to let them take up water. After a few hours all should be straight and fine again for a few more days! Outside garden tips; 1) Spray pottery left outside in cold climates with WD-40 oil to seal the pores of the pot. This preventative measure will help stop pots from cracking. Test spray first to make sure it does not stain the surface. Don't let pots sit directly on flat ground if possible. Sit on pebbles, pot holders or something that will let water drain away and air circulate under pots. 2) Ornamental grasses should be cut down to the ground at the end of March or so to have them ready for when their spring growth begins. 3) If you purchased a live tree to use as a christmas tree and planted it outside, make sure to water it weekly this year until our next winter sets in. Apply evergreen fertilizer this spring and again at a half rate in the fall. 4) This is a good time to be planning which seeds you need to start and when. Always sterilze trays, pots, benches, and tools with a clorox solution of 1:9 parts water. 5) We have had a heavy winter of snow and ice this year. Make sure to inspect and take notes of your trees for tearing of bark from falling branches and irregular breaks. Come the spring you may have to trim up to prevent diseases and insects from setting up camp in these wounded sections. Thank you,happy gardening, and remember to take time and smell the roses! Doug Steigerwald www.longislandflowergarden.com flowers@pagelinx.com [2-19-01]

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