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IPM Page For the Winter Months
During November, December, January and February, the garden lies dormant,waiting for the warm rays of sunlight in spring (sort of like me!). Instead of hibernating yourself, now is a good time of year to go out into the garden and take a careful look at the shrubs and trees of your garden. The only insect I know of that you can identify in the winter is the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, which coats the green needles of hemlocks with a cottony substance. During a warm winter day (above freezing), you can spray a dormant oil on the hemlocks to help control wooly adelgid. Otherwise, check the form of the trees and shrubs, noting any broken branches and twigs and pruning the same. Remember, these cracks are cracks in the plants defenses, and you can eliminate the enemies entrance with sound pruning. Also if a plant's branch structure seems too condensed, thin out some of the branches. This will increase air flow, decreasing the probability of disease. Finally, if you did not get to the final clean up, please do it before spring. Keeping a clean, tidy garden breaks the life cycle of many diseases and some insects, so get a head start on this IPM approach.
If you have any specific IPM questions, please e-mail me at IPMQuestions@Gardeningguru.org or The Q & A Message Board to see if it has previously been asked.