Inquire the Learn Gardener: Stink bugs are pests but in any other case not unsafe – Brainerd Dispatch

Pricey Learn Gardener: I however am locating stink bugs in my home. In actuality, there was one particular crawling in my bed the other night, which I have to say, freaked me out. Why are they even now hanging all over and how really should I get rid of them?

Reply: I continue to obtain one particular each and every as soon as in a when, and squish about 4 boxelder bugs for each working day. The priest on Sunday told us that at the before Mass a boxelder bug flew in his mouth and he swallowed it, then joked about the predicament of obtaining to fast for just one hour before communion. Very well, at some issue last tumble these harmless little pests entered our homes (and churches and other buildings) to hang out for the winter season and wait for hotter climate. Really don’t worry — they are not reproducing, don’t destruction your home and do not chunk. Like the Asian woman beetles, the stink bugs do stink when you crush them. The most effective detail to do is to vacuum them up or squish them and toss them in the rubbish. Or, if you are in a undesirable mood in excess of the detrimental temperatures, you could normally toss them out the doorway and see how they like the late January Minnesota temperature.

Expensive Learn Gardener: Some of my Sansevieria leaves are bending above. What brings about this?

Reply: Commonly, it is triggered by overwatering or incorrect lights. Sansevieria (mom-in-legislation tongue) is a succulent and stores drinking water in its leaves. It dislikes obtaining wet ft and will get root-rot if overwatered or the soil is badly drained. Whilst Sansevieria is regarded a low-gentle houseplant, it does want medium to shiny, indirect light. Prolonged absence from shiny mild or publicity to a ton of direct sunlight could also bring about the leaves to slide around.

 Sansevieria plant.

A Sansevieria plant.

Contributed / Jennifer Knutson

  • By mid to late February times are escalating lengthier and houseplants respond by increasing much more actively. Toward the close of the month, start out fertilizing houseplants at 50 percent-energy and keep on each individual 3 to 4 weeks. Never fertilize if the potting soil is bone dry or there is little to no lively advancement.
  • Roses are however the most common flower to give for Valentine’s Day. There are some methods you can just take to make all cut flowers previous lengthier. Fill the vase with clean, neat h2o and add the packet of floral preservative that commonly comes with the bouquets. If there is no packet, add a fifty percent-cap of bleach to the water to preserve it free from microorganisms. Reduce every single stem (underwater if possible), eliminating at least 1 inch. It is critical not to crush the stem, so use a sharp pruner. Strip away any foliage that would be in the h2o usually, it will contaminate the water in the vase. Improve the water just about every two or three times, generating new cuts to the stems.
  • Think about offering your Valentine a Phalaenopsis (moth orchid) somewhat than slash flowers. The flowers very last a lot for a longer time than cut flowers — a number of months! They are just one of the longest blooming orchid genera. 
  • If you are deciding on a flowering potted plant, choose one particular with a number of open blossoms and a good deal of balanced-seeking buds. To get it property and protect against the buds from falling off, wrap the plant pretty well to secure it from the cold temperatures and head straight home.
  • Start seeds now for Lisianthus. Mid to late February commence seeds for geraniums, pansies/violas, heliotrope, and wax begonias. Onions and leeks can be started off mid-month.
  • Plant begonia tubers in a flat of peat moss or vermiculite now for bloom in June.
  • Get gardening applications and gear completely ready if you have not by now. Clean off soil residue, and wipe spades, rakes, tomato cages, pruners, shears, and many others. with ethyl or isopropyl liquor. Alcoholic beverages won’t rust your machines or generate hazardous fumes like bleach. Once thoroughly clean, sharpen blades.
  • Improve your winter season landscape by introducing vegetation to your lawn up coming spring. Spruce, pines, and firs are wonderful selections. Ornamental grasses and some tall perennials can also stand up to snow and insert winter season fascination. The vibrant stem color of red-osier dogwood (Cardinal is a suggested cultivar) also adds fascination to a Minnesota wintertime landscape. 
  • Look at introducing a crabapple tree in the spring for winter season magnificence subsequent year. Crabapples are apple trees with fruits more compact than 2 inches in diameter. If the fruit is larger sized, it’s an apple. Crabapples that retain their fruit are a vibrant delight in the winter season. When picking out a crabapple take into consideration the next characteristics in this order of worth: fruit, form, disease resistance and flower color. You want the wide variety to retain fruit that is beautiful and presents meals for birds suits into your landscape in terms of dimensions is resistant to apple scab, cedar apple rust, and fireblight and provides the flower color you want. One particular wide range that satisfies these conditions is “Prairiefire” (as prolonged as you like purple-red bouquets).
  • Go through seed catalogs and gardening magazines for new suggestions. Very good setting up now could protect against impulse purchases later on. Glimpse for flower and vegetable cultivars with sickness-resistance and test that they will mature in our fairly short developing season. Request out perennials that are hardy to our zone 3b.
  • Have oaks, elms, apples or other trees professionally pruned this month or in March. It’s less complicated to see a tree’s structure when no leaves are existing and the fresh cuts will not invite a sickness or insect challenge. No pruning paint is necessary! Maples, birch and honey locust are most likely to drip tons of sap from wound websites in spring, but they must be fantastic as extended as no a lot more than 25% of their cover was pruned out. Unless of course the trees are compact and very easily obtainable, it’s best to employ the service of an experienced qualified — they know how to deal with massive trees and are insured from mishaps.
  • Check out on canna lilies, calla lilies, dahlias, gladioli and tuberous begonias you are storing above the winter season. It’s not uncommon for them to rot in storage, primarily if they are stored much too warm. Discard any that are comfortable and mushy.

You could get your garden inquiries answered by contacting the new Master Gardener Assistance Line at 218-824-1068 and leaving a concept. A Grasp Gardener will return your get in touch with. Or, emailing me at and I will solution you in the column if area lets.

University of Minnesota Extension Learn Gardeners are skilled and accredited volunteers for the University of Minnesota Extension. Information given in this column is centered on college study.

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