The decorations will be going up soon. A wreath on the door, fresh greens in the window boxes, and garland on the lamppost and around the door. The problem for many people is that the greens can dry out. Luckily, in the areas where most of the evergreens grow, there was a lot of moisture during late summer and during the fall. This allowed the plants to take up water and store the water in the greens. If you can keep the water in those branches longer, your wreaths, greens and garlands won’t dry out as fast.
You may remember that I wrote about using an anti-desiccant spray on your shrubs. This spray is a wax that coats the leaves and needles. The spray helps prevent the sun and wind from pulling moisture out of the leaves and needles. If you apply this spray to your decorations, they will stay fresher longer. Wreaths can be sprayed before you decorate the wreaths. It is best to spray both sides of the wreath. Garland should be stretched out and sprayed on all of the needles or leaves. Greens can be placed into your window boxes and then sprayed.
Remember that this material is a wax. When you are spraying your decorative greens, you should not lay the decorations on a surface that may be damaged by the wax. You could lay down cardboard, or you could lay the decorations on the lawn. The wax dries best at temperatures above 40 degrees, and it needs ultraviolet light to properly set up. This means that you need daylight to set the wax up correctly.
Christmas trees are showing up at many locations. Just like with the decorative greens, many of them were grown in areas that had rain in the summer and fall. This should make the trees last longer. Before you set your tree up, make a new cut on the base of the trunk. This will allow the tree to take up the water that is in the tree stand. If you don’t put a new cut on the base of the trunk, the tree won’t be able to take up water, and the heat in your home will make the tree dry out quickly.
Remember that the base of the tree needs to be kept in water at all times. If the water level in the tree stand drops below the base of the trunk, the trunk will seal itself off and won’t take up any more water. The only way to get the tree to then take up water is to take the tree out of the stand, put a new cut on the base of the trunk and put the tree back into the stand. If you need to do this, I am sure everyone will hear bad words coming from your home as you try to do a new cut on a decorated tree!
Well, that’s all for this week. I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving, and I’ll talk to you again next week.
Tim Lamprey is the owner of Harbor Garden Center on Route 1 in Salisbury. His website is www.harborgardens.com. Do you have questions for Tim? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and he will answer them in upcoming columns.