Thursday, January 10, 2013

Winter Tips From Laird Landscaping

The winter months can be harsh on all living creatures. Many times critters and insects will seek refuge in our homes to escape the elements. They can be a nuisance as well as a danger to our houseplants.
  • There are all sorts of nasty little bugs loitering around our homes in the winter months. Common insects include house flies, squash bugs, and multi-colored Asian ladybugs. As you come across them, vacuum them up. Don't squish them. They can stain and will stink.
  • Don't store firewood in the house. Go collect it as needed from the outdoors. It can be a haven for destructive bugs such as termites. 
  • Bathe your pets regularly. Dogs and cats are perfect vessels for all sorts of destructive insects to hitch a ride on only to be ushered into your house to nosh on your prized poinsettias. 
  • Keep your indoor plants moist. As the weather is colder, you can wait longer between waterings but continue to use the same amount.
  • Water isn't absorbed as quickly in the winter months and you don't need stagnant water. You're just providing a watering hole for insects.
  • Use fly traps in rooms where you keep houseplants. Clumsy little fruit flies will fly right into these traps and will prevent your houseplants from getting grazed upon. There's nothing more annoying then seeing those little bite marks on leaves.
For more information on how to prevent your precious plants from becoming a little bug's Christmas dinner, contact Houston area Laird Landscaping.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Winter Gardening Checklist

- Take digital photos, draw diagrams, and make notes of your garden.
- Take inventory of what types and what quantities are needed for your garden
- Start to order seeds online or in person.

Chores and Maintenance:
- Be sure to tie and support evergreen shrubs to avoid breakage.
- Protect trees from mice damage with mesh trunk guards.
- Protect shrubs from critters and pests with burlap or netting.
- Keep bird feeders filled throughout winter. Birds will keep the bugs away!

- For a decorative idea, prune evergreen branches to use in holiday decorating.
- Continue to rejuvenate overgrown shrubs as weather permits.
- Keep a newly bought Christmas tree in a bucket of water in a cool area.
- For maximum life and enjoyment; set up your Christmas tree in a reservoir stand. Cut a slant about 1" above existing cut for optimum water absorption.
- Sterilize your tree stand with a solution of boiling water, vinegar, and household bleach after use to kill harmful bacteria.
- When returning from the nursery, wrap your houseplants up to protect them from the winter elements until you get them in the house.
- Give your houseplants as much light as possible as the days grow shorter
- Don't fertilize indoor plants until spring
- Provide houseplants with increased humidity; keep a spray bottle handy and mist often--or place plants over a tray of moist pebbles.

For more information on winter lawn care and maintenance, contact Houston area Laird Landscaping.