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LifestyleHome and Garden

Gardening tips for a winter's day

It's icky out -- yes, that's a meteorological term -- with wet sloshy stuff falling from the sky. What is that? Sleet? Not quite sure. But it's cold and it's wet, and you know what that means? Time to head outside.

Shovel up that mess. There isn't that much of it, but when you're cleaning up the snow that fell overnight, pile it onto perennial beds (as long as you haven't salted). It will insulate plant roots and crowns nicely. Then, while you're out there, take a look around and prune any tree or shrub branches that are broken. Otherwise, a gust of wind could tear them off and send them flying toward your house, car or body. Plus, that would leave a nasty gash in the tree that would be susceptible to rot, pests and disease. An ounce of prevention...

After you've done that, you can go back inside. Put on a pot of tea and rotate houseplant pots to keep them from bending toward the light and getting misshapen. Do that every time you water. Also inspect indoor plants for pests, taking care to check under leaves where many prefer to live.

Stay warm, everyone.

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