Get In Touch:
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something.” - Neil Gaiman
Heed advice and make mistakes
A quote that I frequently use in my gardening presentations is “There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.” by Janet Kilburn Phillips. I hope that if I can provide enough information with a little humor added in attendees will feel that they can try to grow a new plant, try a new gardening practice, and in some cases, just try gardening!

Even if you don’t make New Year’s resolutions, it’s important to look back on things we have done in the past to evaluate our successes and failures and redefine our goals and priorities. While it would make sense to listen to advice from people that have “been there, done that,” I have learned more from my failures than I have ever learned from my successes. Winston Churchill once said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” I hope I never lose my enthusiasm, and I hope I get right back up and try again each time I stumble.

Wishing you all a healthy, prosperous, and successful 2021!
Upcoming Events
Due to COVID please confirm before attending events in case of last minute changes. 
Spirits in the Garden Webinar
Saturday, February 20, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Presented by Penn State Extension $15.00

The Spirits in the Garden webinar brings together Amy Stewart, author of the best-selling The Drunken Botanist: Plants that Create the World’s Great Drinks, and Brie Arthur whose book The Foodscape Revolution laid the groundwork for realizing the full potential of growing fruits and veggies alongside traditional plantings, for a one-of-a-kind gardening cocktail hour.
Old Farmer's Advice
Author unknown
*Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
*Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
*Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
*A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
*Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.
*Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
*Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.
*Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
*It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
*You cannot unsay a cruel word.
*Every path has a few puddles.
*When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
*The best sermons are lived, not preached.
*Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen anyway.
*Don't judge folks by their relatives.
*Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
*Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
*Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin you none.
*Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
*If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
*Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
*The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.
*Always drink upstream from the herd.
*Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
*Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.
*If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
*Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
January In Your Garden
  • Make a resolution to keep records of your garden this year.
  • Avoid foot traffic on frozen lawns as this may injure turf grasses.
  • Store wood ashes in sealed, fireproof containers. Apply a dusting around lilacs, baby's breath, asters, lilies and roses in spring. Do not apply to acid-loving plants. Excess ashes may be composted.
  • Check all fruit trees for evidence of rodent injury to bark. Use baits or traps where necessary.
  • Cakes of suet hung in trees will attract insect-hunting woodpeckers to your garden.
  • Brightly colored paints applied to the handles of tools will make them easier to locate in the garden.
  • Gently remove snow from plants. If left, it weighs them down, sometimes breaking branches.
  • Order seeds early to avoid disappointment later.
  • Arrange to have the cutting blades on your lawn mower sharpened.
  • Christmas tree boughs can be used to mulch garden perennials.
  • If you didn't get your bulbs planted before the ground froze, plant them immediately in individual peat pots and place the pots in flats. Set them outside where it is cold and bury the bulbs under thick blankets of leaves. Transplant them into the garden any time weather permits.
  • Seed and nursery catalogs arrive. While reviewing garden catalogs, look for plants with improved insect, disease and drought-tolerance to reduce the need for pesticides and chemicals.
  • Old Christmas trees can be recycled outdoors as a feeding station for birds. String garlands of peanuts, popcorn, cranberries, fruits and suet through their boughs.
  • Try sprouting a test sample of leftover seeds before ordering new seeds for spring. (Roll up 10 seeds in a damp paper towel. Keep moist and warm. Check for germination in a week. If fewer than half sprout, order fresh seed.)
  • Did you receive a plant as a gift? Quarantine them to be sure they do not harbor any insect pests.
  • Amaryllis aftercare: Remove spent flower after blooming. Set the plant in a bright sunny window to allow the leaves to fully develop. Keep the soil evenly moist, not soggy. Fertilize occasionally with a general-purpose houseplant formulation.
  • To clean heavily encrusted clay pots, scrub them with a steel wool pad after they have soaked overnight in a solution consisting of one gallon of water to which one cup of white vinegar has been added. After the deposits are removed rinse the pots in clear water. A brief soak in a solution of one gallon of water to which one cup household bleach has been added will help sanitize the pots.
  • Some plants are sensitive to the fluorine and chlorine in tap water. Water containers should stand overnight to allow these gases to dissipate before using on plants.
  • Wash the dust off of houseplant leaves on a regular basis. This allows the leaves to gather light more efficiently and will result in better growth.
  • Set the pots of humidity-loving houseplants on trays filled with pebbles and water. Pots should sit on the pebbles, not in the water.
  • Allow tap water to warm to room temperature before using on houseplants.
  • Fluffy, white mealy bugs on houseplants are easily killed by touching them with a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol.
  • Insecticidal soap sprays can be safely applied to most houseplants for the control of many insect pests.
  • Gently brush off heavy snows from tree and shrub branches.
  • Limbs damaged by ice or snow should be pruned off promptly to prevent bark from tearing.
  • Check stored summer bulbs such as dahlias, cannas and gladioli to be sure they are not rotting or drying out. They should feel firm like a potato.
  • To reduce injury, allow ice to melt naturally from plants. Attempting to remove ice may damage plants further.
  • Use sand, bird seed, sawdust or vermiculite to gain traction on icy paths. Avoid salt or ice melters as these may injure plants.
  • Make an inventory of the plants in your home landscape. Note their location and past performance. Plan changes on paper now.
Be on the Lookout - Pests and Problems
  • Use salt with caution or not at all around plants or you risk causing salt damage. The damage may not be evident until late winter or early spring as temperatures warm. (See photo of plants damaged by salt). Consider planting salt-tolerant plants.
  • Scout for Spotted Lanternfly Egg masses and scrape as many as you can reach to help control populations. Bottom line with SLF: Kill them if you can. Use recommended practices. Don't move them around. 
  • Continue to inspect indoor plants closely for insect pests such as aphids, spider mites, scale, and whitefly.
  • Aphids (Hemiptera) are a common problem on indoor plants. Sticky honeydew on leaves and on surfaces around the plant is a common first sign that they are present.
  • Also check for whitefly, mealybugs and thrips. Treat if necessary.
  • Examine herbaceous perennials for signs of plants being lifted out of the soil by frost heaving. Also make sure overwintering roses have ample protection for the coldest months of the year.  
  • Damping off can be a problem on young seedlings. Also, insufficient light can result in spindly growth on seedling. Keep an eye out for fungus gnats.
  • Remove and dispose of the foliage of plants such as roses, peonies, iris, daylilies, apples, horse chestnut, which are subject to annual fungal leaf diseases.
  • Scout for, remove, and dispose of bagworms and cedar-apple rust galls on junipers anytime now until spring. Also check arborvitae, spruce, crabapples, and oaks for bagworms.
  • Help prevent creating dead area in your lawn by refraining from walking over frozen lawn.
  • Stop fertilizing and reduce watering of indoor plants during winter. Uneven watering can result in oedema. (Oedema is a disorder of plants caused by the roots taking up more water than the leaves can transpire. This excess water ruptures the cells, particularly on the undersides, and leads to water-soaked patches that turn corky and unsightly.
  • Heavy snow on trees and shrubs, especially evergreens can lead to breakage. Brush off snow carefully before it melts and refreezes and becomes difficult to remove. Allow ice to melt off naturally. Ice causes branches to become brittle and easily broken.
  • Diseased branches in apples, pears, pyracantha and other plants in the rose family that were killed by fireblight can be safely removed in mid-winter. If not removed in winter, wait until dry weather in summer. Avoid pruning plants susceptible to fireblight during spring when the bacteria can easily enter cuts resulting from pruning.
  • If overwintering dormant tender perennials or tropicals in a garage or basement monitor the temperature and moisture levels closely to avoid freezing, drying out or rotting due to overly wet, cold soil. Check stored bulbs for signs of desiccation or rotting.
  • Do not add wood ashes to your garden without first finding out area's pH. Wood ashes raise soil pH at an approximate rate equal to 1/2 of an equivalent amount of lime.
Need help diagnosing plant problems, deciding treatments, or identifying plants?
Call me - I'll be happy to help! Lori (484) 483-3495
PO Box 541
Nazareth, PA 18064-0541