Recapping December 2023
We're getting into the holiday spirit this week with John and Phil. Phil explains the best ways to protect your potted trees and tender perennials. The weather is getting cooler, and you might still have some spring bulbs that didn't make it into the ground yet. John gives us all his best tips for keeping those bulbs safe this winter and shares his favorite houseplants to propagate. Plus, you might have purchased a live Christmas tree this year. Did you know that there is an entire ecosystem of bugs living on it? Don't worry, you won't have an infestation! There are insects that will hatch out, but only if you keep your tree inside long past the holidays.
We’re out of the studio this week to visit with Kent Miles, owner of Illinois Willows. He specializes in cut flowers and shows us how to put together some winter and holiday wreaths this season. Most of the time, wreaths end up on our front doors. Kent reminds us that wreaths could also be used as a table centerpiece, on the side of your house, in front of a window, or serve as a candle ring. If you’ve ever wanted to make your own wreath, Kent shares a bit about the necessary tools, along with his foliage recommendations to build a visually stunning wreath! The easiest method is to use a straw wreath form, 22 gauge paddle wire, greenery of your choice, and any decorations you’d like to add! We also learn how to care for your wreath and keep it fresh for years to come! Illinois Willows specializes in porch pots this time of year as well. If you’ve ever wanted to build your own, Kent has kits available on his website, but we also talk to him about the different elements to consider, including pot size, foliage height, and how to get bright pops of color.
Shane and Kay are in the studio this week to identify plants for our viewers, give their advice about whether or not to plant bulbs in December, and share the benefits of battery operated lawn mowers.Our herb expert, Kay, teaches us about winter savory and how she uses it in her cooking for a little extra peppery flavor. On the flip side, Shane shares something sweet: what to do with crystalized/creamed honey! This time of year, many of your plants have been moved indoors. Kay gives us her tips to keep those plants alive, including her favorite types of pots and best winter watering practices, while Shane tells us about the advantages of using grow lights.
This week on Mid-American Gardener, Martie and Jen are in the studio to answer your questions about umbrella plants and how to care for poinsettias and amaryllis bulbs long after the holidays are over. Tinisha enlists their help to identify a plant in her new yard: it’s a pussy willow! They discuss how and when to prune it since it looks like it has been left alone by the previous owner for a few years.