Time to open the swimming pool!
Spring is here and the swimming pool season is about to kick off.
Maybe you just bought a home with a swimming pool, or you just installed a pool last summer and this is your first swimming pool opening, and maybe your going to attempt your own opening this year after watching the pool guy do it for years, and just maybe your a veteran and just want to pickup some new tips. Whatever your station opening a pool for the Summer is easy, just follow this guide and you will be swimming in no time.
Tip #1 If you are wondering when the best time to open your pool, opening the pool early is best, if you wait too long you will risk the chance of opening up to a huge mess. Always try to open the pool either before the first hot day or shortly after. Hot days heat up the stagnate water under your pool cover and that will create algae.
- Submersible pump is needed to drain water from the pool, hot tub, off the pool cover etc… great addition to your toys/equipment
- Shop-vac is great for not only sucking up wet and dry debris, but also is needed to blowing out lines in the winter.
- Pressure washer, garden hose, & deluxe spray gun these all go into one heading but basically have a good system for cleaning stuff off. Better to pay a little more and have a good hose and spray gun, and a pressure washer will help you keep your whole house clean.
- Sponges & rags are great for cleaning up around the pool, patio, and hot tub.
Tip #3 if you found that you were losing pressure at the end of the pool season the year before it might be a good idea to check the filter media and see if it needs replacing. This is something you can do weeks or days in advance of your pool opening and will save you time on the day you do open your pool.
When your ready to open the swimming pool the first step is to use the submersible pump and remove the water from the top of the winter pool cover. Its best not to try and remove the winter cover before the water is removed because you risk the chance of having the debris on top of the winter cover falling into the pool. Unfortunately I have learned this from experience, and I would add to be patient and let all the water possible be drained from the top of the winter pool cover before attempting to remove the cover.
Tip #4 start filling your pool while you are draining the water off the top of your winter cover. If you live in a rural community and use well water use a carbon pre filter on your hose when filling your pool. Locate and replace all fittings, plugs, and drain covers from your filter, pumps, and heaters but do not turn anything on yet. Remove all plugs, gizmos, foam etc. from pipes and skimmer and replace jets, skimmer and any other accessories. This saves time and you will be able to start your equipment sooner.
The next thing you must do is to remove the debris from the top of the winter cover. You can start this process with your leaf net when you are removing the water from the top of the cover. Try to remove as much debris as possible because the more that is on the winter cover when you remove the cover the more chance of debris getting into your pool when you remove the winter cover.
Once you have removed the debris it is time to take the winter cover off. I start by removing the water bags from one end of the pool and slowly roll the cover towards the end removing water bags on either side as I move down the pool. The same technique can be used for all covers and at the end you should have caught all remaining debris that should be easily lifted away from the pool with the winter cover.
Once your water is up to level which is about 2/3 up the skimmer, you can do a final check of all the connections and plugs, put your filter in the waste selection, roll out your backwash hose, open up your air relief at the top of your filter, fill your pump basket with water to get your prime, and start your system. Once all the air is released you will see water spraying out the top of your filter, close the valve and turn off your system. Change your filter setting to filter and turn the system back on. I add a concentrated algaecide at this point making sure to broadcast it around the perimeter of the swimming pool. After 24 hours of circulation test your pool water for PH and Chlorine and adjust accordingly. The chemical levels should be PH 7.2 – 7.6 ppm and chlorine 1.5 – 2.0 ppm.
Take your swimming pool cover and water bags out to the driveway remove all debris and wash them, let them dry out fold and store for the fall. Replace all your steps, ladders, and diving boards and tighten them down. Power wash the deck, and clean the scum line of your pool. And your done.
Tip #5 If you have a hot tub open it at the same time, or if it was running all winter this is a great time to change the water and clean or replace your hot tub filters. Use a carbon pre filter on your hose when filling your hot tub. Also clean and and remove debris from your hot tub cover, and replace it if it weighs more then 100 lbs. or is deteriorated beyond use.
Enjoy the swimming season!
Content provided by Backyard Blast By The Cover Guy
If your digging arm ran out of steam after planting the first bag of fifty tulips last fall, your spring flower show may not be as lush as you wanted it to be. Interplant your large bulbs, like tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, with cold hardy annuals. The resulting look will resemble a gardening magazine spread or public garden display you have admired.
The careful digging that allows you to install a nursery six-pack of hardy annual transplants won’t disturb large bulbs, which should be planted… 4-8 inches deep. Plant the annuals as soon as they are offered in your nursery, as you should already see green foliage tips emerging from the bulbs. Try these four planting partners this spring:
- Tulips and primroses
- Hyacinths and pansies
- Daffodils and scented stock
- Dutch iris and sweet alyssum
When creating a flowering landscape, follow the garden design principle of starting with trees, then shrubs, then plants. Shrubs not only give the garden texture and dimension, many offer reliable spring flowers for sunny or shady situations. Azaleas herald the arrival of spring in many southern gardens, and forsythia does the same in temperate climates. If the thought of a plain green shrub amidst your flowers doesn’t thrill you, choose a shrub that displays bright berries after its flowers… fall, like viburnum. You can also look for newer cultivars of old favorites that have variegated foliage, like daphne ‘Marginata’ in warm climates or elderberry ‘Madonna’ in cold climates.
When you include flowering containers in your spring garden, you can get earlier blooms in your garden than when you plant in the ground. You can bring small hanging baskets into a shed or garage when temperatures plummet at night, and even large containers can move to a sheltered area if you employ planters on casters. Some of the most beloved container plants thrive in cool spring temperatures, including snapdragons, petunias, and annual lobelia. These cool season annuals are at their… flowering peak when daytime temperatures are in the 70s. Other container flowers, like viola and nasturtium, can tolerate early spring frosts.
Planting bulbs under a lawn doesn’t take any special skill; the most important care tip for naturalizing flower bulbs in a lawn is to delay mowing until the bulb foliage matures. Therefore, choose the earliest blooming bulbs to plant, unless you don’t mind letting your grass grow as long as strappy bulb foliage. Crocus bulbs are the most commonly grown flowers in a lawn, but you can also try snowdrops or iris reticulata. Slice your sod with a sharp spade, and plant groups of bulbs at least three… inches below the soil surface.
The colder the climate, the more anxious gardeners are for signs of spring in the landscape. Planting very early bloomers can make you feel like you’ve cheated part of winter, because these hardy bulbs may begin to bloom when the holiday decorations are just coming down. These petite flowers don’t make much of a statement when planted in groups of a dozen or less, but the low price of the so-called minor bulbs makes a planting of a hundred or more affordable.
The common snowdrop, Galanthus… nivalis, sports dainty white bell-shaped flowers on six-inch stalks. They bloom as early as January, and naturalize easily in an undisturbed spot. If white flowers are lost in your snowy garden, consider the winter aconite, Eranthis hyemalis, which produce bright yellow flowers atop a ruffled collar of green foliage. Finally, glory-of-the-snow, Chionodoxa luciliae, produces masses of blue, pink, or white star-shaped flowers to satisfy your pastel flower cravings.
What a great time we had this past weekend at our Easter Egg hunt and Easter Bunny Visit! Stop on by this week for some great savings as well as checking out our new spring plant arrivals!
Don’t forget our Mulch Madness sale is still going on!
With winter months bringing the usual bouts of flu and other illnesses, you may think that using the hot tub in the cold is not the best idea. But believe it or not, using the hot tub in the winter has health benefits that can prevent or help heal a winter cold, aid in purifying your skin, and reduce muscle aches and pains.
The air may be cold, but the water set at the suggested temperature between 102 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit is actually far cozier than sitting in a chilly house, even under blankets.
The key health benefits of using a hot tub in the winter (and practically anytime) are:
- Stress relief: Soaking in a spa hot tub can be soothing, recuperative, and key factor in helping to relax. In fact, your blood pressure decreases every time you sit in a hot tub.
- Clearer Skin: With heat, the pores of your face will open up and unclog leading to clearer skin, but the benefits go further than just your face. “Heat therapy” can assist in purification of acne, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles, or even burns.
- Muscle Recovery: Warm water can increase circulation, thus helping to heal muscles that need to recover. When soaking in a hot tub (especially one with warm jets), circulation is increased — which allows the blood to supply nutrients that help cells and tissues regenerate.
- Aches and Pains: Using the hot tub in the cold to soak has therapeutic benefits and can help relieve arthritis, neck, and back pain.
You can also stay energy-efficient while using the hot tub in the winter by turning off the breaker that runs the heater and protects the electrical switches. Every hot tub has a circulation pump that runs 24 hours a day, and heats up cold water using much less energy than if the heater was running. Once the water reaches 75 degrees, you can turn the heater back on to heat the water up to the recommended temperature of just under 104 degrees.
You can also run the jets with the cover of the hot tub closed while the spa is heating. The heat from the pumps can warm up the water using much less energy as well.
Using the hot tub in the winter can reduce the amount of illnesses you catch, as long as you keep up good hygiene and sanitation measures, and keep your water at the correct temperature. When hot-tubbing it, be sure to check the water balance/cleanliness, keep temperatures raised, soak often (but not more than 30 minutes at a time), and stay hydrated.
Plant bulbs are generally planted in the fall or spring, but in reality, they can be planted anytime so long as you can physically dig a hole. There are many types of bulb plants, including lilies, hyacinths, daffodils and tulips, just to name a few. While each plant is different, you can generally plant them in the same manner, but you should always adhere to the planting instructions that come with your specific bulbs.
Plant your bulbs in early winter if possible. You cannot plant bulbs while the ground is frozen, so if it is, place your bulbs in a thick plastic bag called a poly bag, which is available at your local home and garden store. Then store them in a cool, dark and dry place like your garage. However, plant them as soon as possible when you can successfully dig some holes.
Plan to plant bulbs about three to six inches apart, depending on the type of bulbs. For instance, tulips and daffodils spread and grow quickly and should be planted about six inches apart, but crocuses and snowdrops should be planted only three inches apart
Plan to cluster your bulbs together. You can even mix varieties. Place smaller growing plants in front and larger ones in the back.
Dig holes that are about five inches deep for small bulbs and eight inches deep for large bulbs. The diameter of the hole should be twice as large as the bulb.
Put the bulbs in the ground with the pointed end facing up. This is the end from which the sprout will emerge.
Mix some compost or peat moss in with the soil you just dug up. Use that new soil mix to cover the bulbs. Pat the soil down with your hands to avoid any air pockets.
Mulch over the area. A couple inches of mulch will help keep your bulbs in the ground warm until spring when you may see the green sprouts begin to emerge and then bloom soon thereafter. If not, they should bloom the next season.
Selecting Your Poinsettia
The plant you choose should have dark green foliage. fallen yet low or damaged leaves indicate poor handling or fertilization, lack of water or a root disease problem. The colorful flower bracts (red, pink, white or bicolor pink and white) Should be in proportion to the plant and pot size. Little or no pollen should be showing oil the actual flowers (those red or green button-like parts in the center of the colorful bracts).
Be sure the plant is well wrapped when you take it outside on your trip home because exposure to low temperatures for even a short time can injure leaves and bracts. Unwrap the plant as soon as possible because the petioles (stems of the leaves and bracts) can droop and twist if the plant is left wrapped for too long.
For maximum plant life, place your poinsettia near a sunny window Or Some other well-lighted areas Do not let any part of the plant touch cold window panes. Poinsettias are tropical plants and are usually grown at temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees F in greenhouses, so this temperature range ill the home is best for long plant life. High temperatures will shorten the file of the bracts Poinsettias do no[ tolerate warm or cold drafts so keep them away from radiators, air registers, and fans as well as open windows or doors. Place your poinsettia in a cooler room at night (55 to 60 degrees F is ideal) to extend the blooming time.
Examine the soil daily and water only when it feels dry. Always water enough to soak the soil to the bottom of the pot and discard the excess water. If you don’t water enough, the plant will wilt mid the lower leaves will drop. If you water too much the lower leaves will yellow and then drop. If you keep your plant for several months, apply a soluble houseplant fertilizer, once or twice a month according to the manufacturers recommendations.
If you plan on saving your poinsettia and reflowering it next year, follow the procedure explained below and illustrated below.
Late Winter and Early Spring Care
Poinsettias have long-lasting flowers – their bracts will remain showy for several months. During this time, side shoots will develop below the bracts and grow up above the old flowering stems. To have a well-shaped plant for the following year, you need to cut each of the old flowering stems or branches back to 4 to 6 inches in height. Leave one to three leaves on each of the old stems or branches – new ,growth comes from buds located in the leaf axils. Cutting the plant back will cause the buds to grow and develop. This cutting back is usually done in February or early March. Keep the plant in I a sunny window at a temperature between 60 and 70 degrees F and water as described above. Fertilize as needed every 2 weeks.
Late Spring and Summer Care
If the plant is too large for the old pot, repot it into a larger pot. Any of he common peat moss and vermiculite/perlite potting soils sold at garden centers are satisfactory and easy to use. If you want to prepare your own growing medium, use 2 parts sterilized garden soil, I part peat moss and I part sand vermiculite or perlite plus I tablespoon of superphosphate per, pot and thoroughly mix.
After the danger of spring frost is past and night temperatures exceed 50 degrees F, sink the poinsettia pot to the rim in the ground in a well-drained, slightly shaded spot outdoors. Remember that the plant may need to be watered more frequently than the rest of your garden. Between 15 and August 1, prune all shoots to about 4 inches, leaving about one, to three leaves on each shoot and fertilize.
Take your poinsettia plant indoors at night well before the first frost (usually about September 15 in lower Michigan) to avoid chilling injury (this occurs when temperatures are below 45 degrees F for an extended period). The poinsettia can be placed back outdoors in the daytime when temperatures are warm enough or in a sunny window. Fertilize every 2 weeks To reflower your poinsettia, you must keep the plant in complete darkness between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. daily from the end of September until color shows in the bracts (early to mid-December). The temperature should remain between 60 and 70 degrees F. Night temperatures above 70 to 75 degrees F may delay or prevent flowering. If you follow this procedure the poinsettia will flower for Christmas.
GROWTH CYCLE OF THE POINSETTIA
|Full Bloom.||Flower fades. Lateral growth starts.||Remove flower. Cut stems to 6 inches. Many laterals will start to break.|
|Repot in larger pot if necessary. Plant outside in pot.||Pinch all lateral shoots to 4 inches. Root shoots if desired, then pot.||Take inside.|
SEPT. 20 until DEC. 1
|Keep in light only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Put in dark place (no lights) 5 p.m. to 8 a.m.|
1. Why purchase a live Christmas tree?
Live trees are the classic choice for the holidays. They offer a fresh and crisp profile and have that familiar scent and feel that remind people of the season.
- Live trees are all-natural. They are biodegradable.
- Unfortunately, live trees attract insects that can be a nuisance to your home.
- These trees also shed needles, which can be a hassle to clean up.
- Finally, these trees need to be maintained. To keep them fresh, their tree stand must be constantly filled with water.
2. What should I be on the lookout for when buying trees?
It’s important to consider the branches and needles before making a purchase. See if they are durable and can carry all your precious holiday ornaments. Also take a look at the profile of the tree. Make sure you purchase something that’s lush and with ample space for all your holiday adornments.
3. How tall should my Christmas tree be?
Height is an important factor to consider. After all, no one really wants a tree that’s too tall or too short. Before leaving your house or going online to shop, take a tape measure, and gauge the distance between your ceiling and your floor. The height of the tree should be at least a foot lower than your ceiling. If you plan on using a tree topper, factor in its height as well.
4. How wide should my Christmas tree be?
Measure the floor area of your chosen location as well. When allocating space for the width of your Christmas tree, there should be at least a foot of distance between the walls and your holiday tree.
5. What’s the perfect location for my Christmas tree?
Foyers and living rooms are always an ideal location for your Christmas tree. These are usually settings with a lot of foot traffic.
Go for rooms people use for gatherings and celebrations. Make sure that your tree is far from heat sources, such as air vents and fireplaces. This will significantly reduce the chances of accidents.
It’s also important to place your tree in a location where it won’t block the way. Corners or areas close to the wall are great choices. Put your tree in a place where there is a lot of space around it.
6. What accessories will my tree need?
First, your tree needs a stable and sturdy stand. Make sure to purchase a stand that resists rust and will prevent the tree from falling over with the slightest push or tug.
Ornaments are never a bad idea. These decorations bring an air of festivity to any space. Pick out a theme before going out and purchasing these fine holiday accents. Lastly, think about getting a tree topper to complete your Christmas scheme.
Tree toppers are a great way to make a statement about what Christmas means to you and your family. Choose a top ornament that complements your tree and holiday decorative theme. Don’t choose a heavy tree topper. This might cause the whole tree to topple over.
The size of wreath needed for your front entrance really depends on the look you want. For a bold and festive feel, go large! If you prefer a more reserved look, choose a smaller size.
For a standard 36 inch wide front door, add dramatic impact with a wreath 28 inches to 30 inches in diameter. On the other hand, a wreath 20 inches to 24 inches in diameter creates a classic, understated look.
For oversized doors, we recommend a 30 inch to 36 inch diameter wreath. This large size will carry the appropriate scale in relation to the front door.
Typically, the larger the wreath, the higher you should hang it on the door. Since large wreaths usually weigh more than small wreaths, be sure to use a sturdy metal hanger or a securely fastened nail rather than plastic hanging fixtures.
What to do with miniature wreaths? Use your imagination! Decorate door knobs, candleholders, bureau knobs, and other place you happen to notice needs a little sprucing up for the holidays.
If you don’t wish to put a nail in your door, there are alternatives – try an over the door hanger or the 3M Adhesive Hangers all of which are available at your local home improvement store or local craft store. It is a great way to hang a wreath without damaging the door.
Measuring an arched door for garland.
The trick is to make sure you have enough garland to accommodate the top arch. We have a simple solution for this.
- HEIGHT – Measure from the ground to the top of the door, then double the number to account for both sides. Example: 10-ft. H door x 2 = 20 feet
- WIDTH – Measure from the outside trim of the door across to the other side, then calculate one-and-a-half times the width to cover the arch. Example: 10-ft. W door x 1.5 = 15 feet
- TOTAL – Add the HEIGHT measurement and the WIDTH measurement for the total amount of garland needed. Example: 20 feet (HEIGHT) + 15 feet (WIDTH) = 35 feet of garland
Add one foot to your total if you’d like the garland to puddle at the bottom.
Measuring a standard door or double doors for garland.
Simple math is all that’s required to be sure you have enough garland for your front entrance. This solutions works for double doors as well. Just be sure to measure the width across both doors, including trim.
- HEIGHT – Measure from the ground to the top of the door, then double the number to account for both sides. Example: 10-ft. H door x 2 = 20 feet
- WIDTH – Measure from the outside trim of the door across to the other side. In our example, the door is 4 feet wide.
- TOTAL – Add the HEIGHT measurement and the WIDTH measurement for the total amount of garland needed. Example: 20 feet (HEIGHT) + 4 feet (WIDTH) = 24 feet of garland
Add one foot to your total if you’d like the garland to puddle at the bottom.
Measuring a staircase banister or mantel to swag garland.
To swag garland down a staircase banister or across the mantel, use the same strategy as above. Measure the LENGTH of the banister or the WIDTH of the mantel, then calculate one-and-a-half times that dimension. Example: 6-ft. W mantel x 1.5 = 9 feet of garland. Many of you want to know whether garland should drape over the sides of the mantel or not? Well, there are no hard-fast rules when it comes to hanging garland. It is up to you. Whatever you want to do – go for it! Hang garland the way you like it.
Measuring a staircase banister or mantle to swag garland.
To swag garland down a staircase banister or across the mantel, use the same strategy as above. Measure the LENGTH of the banister or the WIDTH of the mantel, then calculate one-and-a-half times that dimension. Example: 6-ft. W mantel x 1.5 = 9 feet of garland
Measuring a staircase banister to wrap garland.
Measure the LENGTH of the staircase and the HEIGHT of the newel post from the handrail to the floor. Simply add the 2 dimensions and double that number. Example: 10-ft. L staircase + 3-ft. H newel post = 13 feet x 2 = 26 feet of garland
If all of this seems too complicated, use a ball of string, wrapping it as you would the garland. When you have the look you want, pull the string off and measure it with a tape measure. It can be that simple!
• Rake fallen leaves. If left on the lawn they can get slippery, form mats and smother the lawn where diseases like snow mold may take hold.
• Hate to rake? Leave the leaves on the lawn to improve the turf and soil life below. But first mow over the leaves several times in different directions (they should be dry). These small pieces of leaf litter add valuable nutrients to your lawn and it won’t lead to thatch build up.
– Certain tree leaves like cottonwood and oak don’t break down easily, so use less for mulch or add to the compost pile.
• Mulch new plantings or tender roses after a couple of hard freezes. Mound them with well-draining compost, or shredded bark.
•Apply a 2-3″ layer of mulch (bark, shredded bark, pine needs or chopped leaves) around trees, shrubs and perennials after the ground freezes. Be sure to keep mulch at least 6 inches away from the stems or trunks of the plants to prevent voles and mice from nesting.
•Any extra leaves not needed in the landscape can be shared or taken to local leaf drops, check with your municipality for dates and locations.
•Turf grass benefits from a final fertilization before going dormant for the season. Nitrogen helps the root system and aids greening up in the spring. Apply when the lawn is still green and moist so there is good absorption. Water a day or two before application if it’s been dry. Bonus for turf roots if aerating first, followed by fertilization.
•Prepare the lawn mower after the final mow. Prevent damage to the carburetor by using up all the gas in the lawn mower. Disconnect the spark plug, clean the underside with a putty knife or wire brush and sharpen the blade before storing for the winter. The oil can be drained and changed now or early next spring.
•Cutting back dead foliage on perennials in the fall or spring is a gardener’s choice. Plants receive additional insulation and protection from our frequent freeze/thaw cycles when foliage is left in place. Any recently planted perennials and shrubs should not be cut back in the fall. Let ornamental grasses provide winter structure in the garden. Birds appreciate finding seeds and hiding in standing foliage.
•Overwinter containerized shrubs like roses in an unheated garage, away from drafts. Water at least once a month; don’t let the soil completely dry out.
•Spring bulbs are still available in garden centers and can be planted until the ground freezes.
•Drain outdoor hoses after use, but keep them close by to winter water the landscape, especially new plantings of bulbs, trees, and roses.
•Blow out automatic sprinkler systems if not done in October.
•Put away garden products and fertilizers. Gather up outdated products and properly dispose of them through your municipality’s hazardous waste program.
•Store garden tools for the season after cleaning. Get a jump on next season by sharpening before stowing.
•Prepare new planting holes for bareroot plants (mainly small trees or roses) that can be ordered this fall for shipping and planting in late winter to early spring.
•Check wiring, straps and stakes on newly planted trees — make sure they aren’t pinching or girdling the trunk or nearby branches. Supports are only necessary for one to two growing seasons.
•Prevent winter sunscald damage to trunks of young, thin-barked, leafless trees by covering them with tree-wrap. Remove the wrap in April.
•In the fall it is common and normal for the inner most and oldest evergreen needles to turn brown and fall off.
•Prepare new spring planting areas this fall. Sheet composting or “lasagna gardening” is an easy and no cost way to prepare new beds by using leaves, lawn clippings, spent foliage, cardboard and kitchen scraps. First, remove rocks and debris or mow the grass low in the chosen space. Frame the bed size with cardboard or sheets of newspaper. Then plop on alternating layers of organic matter (browns and greens in the compost world). Time and weather do all the breaking down so next spring you’re ready to plant.
•Adding homemade or commercially bagged compost in the fall is ideal for vegetable beds if the organic matter is low (below 5 percent) or if the planting area is brand new. Do a soil test now to determine the organic matter percentage and test for nutrition or soil quality issues.
•Remove all dead vegetable foliage, and all diseased leaves. After clean-up, put your vegetable garden to bed with a thick layer of organic mulch.
•Take photos and jot down notes about the gardening season — what worked, where to improve and project ideas for next year. Include a list of new plants including bulbs.
•Store left over seed packets in a dry place like glass jars or plastic boxes. Some seeds are viable for several years if properly stored.
•Forcing bulbs indoors including tulips, crocus, narcissus, hyacinths and iris requires potting and then storing the planted pots for 10 to 16 weeks in cold storage at 35 to 50 degrees (tricking them like they are growing in the ground outdoors). They can be placed in an unheated garage or shed that won’t freeze, or outside in the ground buried at soil level. After the chilling period bring them inside the house. Plants will bloom in two to three weeks. Look for bulbs that are bred for indoor forcing-listed on the plant tag.
•Start amaryllis bulbs indoors in early November for late December bloom, and stagger planting additional bulbs into the New Year. There are many colors to try, but shop now for the best selection and quality. Use fresh potting soil in 6-inch pots with a third of the bulb showing above the pot rim. Water well and place in a cool area. Hold off on watering until growth appears, then water more frequently and move to a sunny location.
•Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter cacti usually bloom anywhere from now through April. Cool temperatures (60 degrees at night) and nine hours of sunlight cue these plants to bloom after six or more weeks. Reduce watering when the flower buds form, then water weekly as the buds swells. Flower color deepens when the plant is allowed to dry out between watering (if it’s too dry the flowers will drop).