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How to save water, help your houseplants and feed local birds – Orange County Register

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 1. Home-grown Washington navel oranges are good enough now to use as gifts – as well as enjoy yourself. When harvesting oranges, be sure to cut the stem off flat, leaving the green starburst that attaches it to the fruit. This helps oranges to last longer after picking, without shriveling. Use the smallest oranges for juice.

2. Provide life-saving nutrition stations for birds during winter. Not only will your feathered guests enjoy a regular supply of seeds and other goodies, they will also appreciate a source of fresh water, too. And it’s especially fun if you can watch them through a window or sliding glass doors. Then in spring and summer, the omnivores among them will repay you by eating many of the insect pests that would otherwise plague your garden.

3. Prune back dying stems on asparagus and artichoke plants during December or before mid-January. Asparagus and artichoke plants go dormant this time of year, and the old stems turn brown and become unattractive. Cut off unsightly old stems clear to the ground. This will greatly improve the appearance of your winter landscape.

4. If you have houseplants, keep in mind that they are going dormant just like the plants outside. They need the winter rest, too, so stop feeding them until spring. Also, they don’t need so much water, so irrigate them less often. Be careful that they are not in the path of heaters, vents, or fireplaces and are not too close to cold drafts from windows or doors. Indoor plants always do best with temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees. Temperatures lower than 60 and higher than 80 will set them back.

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Jeff Stearman

Jeff has experienced much success in his many years as a Realtor, consistently ranking in the Top 1% of Realtors nationally as well as the Top Agent locally. Jeff also has an MBA and Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) designation and is Certified Short Sale Specialist and Distressed Property Negotiator and Expert. Jeff has a firm grasp on today’s real estate market and is an expert in all areas of residential real estate, including: traditional sales, residential income properties, vacation properties, luxury homes, as well as distressed properties. Additionally, with his background in mortgage & financial consulting, Jeff can help you understand the numbers side of real estate and offer valuable advice on the different types of home loans and financing options that you could take advantage of. His clients say: "If you want something done, ask a busy Realtor.” The Stearman Group has successfully sold over 3,000 homes because they carefully work with their clients to create successful solutions. They strive to solve your individual housing needs-one client at a time. His team gives only the Best Personalized Service to each of their clients every single time.

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