Becker County Master Gardeners have earned their title thorough educational classes and community service to put their green thumb knowledge to use for the greater good. They got together to provide tips for November, and things one can do for their plants, including:

• Using room temperature water for all houseplants.  Most originated in the tropics or sub-tropics and can be injured by icy tap water.  Leave a jug of water out for several hours or test tap water on the inside of the wrist before using it.

• Buy a Christmas Cactus for winter bloom.

• Move houseplants to brighter locations within the home, to compensate for reduced light levels as days grow shorter and cloudier weather increases. South or west facing windows are not too bright for low light plants this time of year.  Pull shades or draw the drapes at night, though, to protect houseplants from cold air near window panes.  Continue to rotate the plants regularly so they don’t grow “towards the light”.

• Flowers are traditional at Thanksgiving Day celebrations, but one can enjoy blooms all winter long.  Many florists feature mixed bouquets at reasonable prices.  

• A final gardening chore is to inspect all tools and equipment that was used this past summer. Clean and sharpen the tools, then wipe them with a light coating of oil to prevent rust.  Seal bags of fertilizer and move them off the garage floor, onto a shelf where they won’t get damp and hard over winter.