Those houseplants you kept outside all summer may be harboring unwanted guests.
Even though your plants have been inside for the winter for a couple of months, it's still important to check them for insects and other pests. Even one or two insects can be the start of an infestation.
Pests to look for are aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, whiteflies and scale.
Planting evergreens around a house's foundation is a landscaping no-brainer because they stay green and require little maintenance. However, foundation evergreens should be pruned to keep them looking good and scaled to the size of the house.
Many homeowners plant yews, junipers or arborvitae. After a few years, the plants block window views. The best time to prune evergreens is during the winter dormant season from December to March.
Although any aromatic herb can enhance holiday decorations, several have special biblical links with Christmas.
Many craft shops and florists carry dried herb plants along with the baskets, bowls and other trimmings needed for decorating. You might even have grown one or more these herbs in your own herb garden.
For a special touch this year, try one or more of the following in your holiday wreaths and mantle decorations:
Geraniums are popular bedding plants, blooming from May through frost. However, the first hard frost doesn't have to be the end of your geraniums. They can be overwintered indoors by potting up individual plants, taking cuttings or storing bare-root plants in a cool, dry place. Regardless of the method, the plants should be removed from the garden prior to the first frost.