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Garden Checklist: Make spring bulbs a priority during fall garden chores

The weather may finally feel a little like fall, but it’s time to think spring. Plant daffodils and other spring bulbs. Plant some each week for the next three weeks to spread out your spring bloom.

▪ Pre-chill bulbs that need a little cold to produce spring blooms. Tulips and hyacinths needs six weeks in the refrigerator crisper before planting. While the bulbs are chilling, don’t store apples or pears in the refrigerator. They release a gas that will cause the bulbs to rot. Plan to get these bulbs in the ground or pots by early December.

▪ Don’t forget your summer bulbs. Dig up corms and tubers of gladioli, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

▪ Apply mulch to summer-blooming bulbs and tubers left in the ground.

▪ Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellow between the veins.

▪ Remove water basins from shrubs and pots before (what we hope will be) rainy days ahead. That way, your potted plants won’t get cold, soggy feet.

▪ In the vegetable garden, plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas. Plant garlic and onions. Transplant lettuce seedlings.

▪ Watch out for snails and hand-pick them.

▪ Fertilize indoor plants. This will help boost winter bloomers. With colder days ahead, you’ll spend more time inside enjoying your indoor garden – while waiting for those spring bulbs to bloom.

Debbie Arrington

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