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  • Lezlie Sterling /

    Chilly Thermometer. Photo shot October 29, 2005. Sacramento Bee/ Lezlie Sterling

  • Florence Low / Sacramento Bee file

    Narcissus/ paper white bulbs, October 17, 2006. Sacramento Bee/ Florence Low

Time to ‘turn on’ bulbs for winter, spring blooms

Published: Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 - 12:00 am

It’s barely November, but time to get into the holiday spirit.

• For holiday blooms indoors, plant paper-white or golden narcissi now. Fill a shallow bowl or dish with 2 inches of rocks or pebbles. Place bulbs in the dish with the root end nestled in rocks. Add water until it just touches the bottom of the bulbs. Place dish in a sunny window. Add water as needed. The bulbs will bloom in four to six weeks.

•  Unsure if your lawn still needs watering after a rainstorm? If one inch or more of rain falls, turn off the automatic sprinklers for five days. If another half-inch falls during that period, keep the sprinklers off until there are five days without rain.

•  Outdoors, plant daffodils and other spring bulbs. Don’t forget tulips and hyacinths that you may have chilling in the refrigerator. They need to go in the ground now.

•  Stop leaf curl from making a return appearance next spring. After they drop their leaves, spray peach, nectarine and apricot trees with a copper spray, available at nurseries and home-improvement stores.

•  Rake and compost leaves. But dispose of any leaves that show signs of fungal disease, such as rust or mildew.

•  In the vegetable garden, plant from seed fava beans, bok choy, Swiss chard, garlic, leaf lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio, radishes, shallots and spinach.

•  Set out transplants of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce and peas.

•  For spring flowers, plant California poppies, cornflower, larkspur, scabiosa and sweet peas.

– Debbie Arrington

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