Sam Says for January 2018

o  If it snows – especially heavy wet snow – prevent limb breakage by knocking snow off early.  Evergreen magnolias, pyramidal cedars, arborvitaes and sweet gum trees are most vulnerable.

o  Prune off dead flower stems on Sedum Autumn Joy and the like.  Prune down to new shoots now emerging from the ground.  Spent flower stems on lavender plants can be cut off now.  Cut the stems back to just above fresh looking new growth.  Be careful not to prune back very hard, just remove the flower stem.

o  It’s not too early to treat for slugs.  As days begin to warm up at the end of the month they will be out looking for newly emerging perennials.

o  Don’t forget to keep plants under eaves well-watered.  Winter damage on trees and shrubs can be minimized if they are well watered before windy weather and extended periods of freezing temperatures.

o  Keep bird feeders clean.  Discard uneaten birdseed that has become wet or moldy.  Refill suet feeders as needed.

o  Check stored dahlia tubers for signs of rot or mold.  Discard any that have signs of rotting.  Treat moldy tubers with a bulb dust.


Mason Bees

Orchard mason bees are beneficial insects that are native to North America.  They are excellent pollinators for fruit trees. They are non-aggressive, solitary (no hive) and short lived.  If you have fruit trees or are thinking of planting one or more fruit trees the mason bee’s presence will considerably increase the trees fruit production. Mason bees hatch in the spring and go about pollinating trees and shrubs.  They are many times more efficient at pollinating fruit trees than honey bees.  After the females lay their eggs they will die (the males will have already died shortly after mating). Learning how to encourage mason bees to visit your fruit trees is fun and fairly easy.  We teach classes in February that will cover their life cycle and everything you would need to know to keep them in your yard.  We carry a complete line of items for these and other beneficial insects.  We also sell the mason bees beginning in mid-February.