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Easter lilies will rebloom outdoors

Easter lilies grow well outdoors in the Sacramento area.
Easter lilies grow well outdoors in the Sacramento area. Sacramento Bee file

Give potted Easter lilies a new life in the garden. These spring holiday favorites do well replanted in the ground.

Choose a sunny, well-drained location. Remove the plant from the container and loosen the bulb’s root system. Plant the bulb 2 to 3 inches deeper than it was in the container and cover with soil.

Water thoroughly and feed with an all-purpose garden fertilizer. Soon after transplanting, the old top will wither and die, but don’t worry. The bulb should send up new shoots as your Easter lily adjusts to garden life.

Next year, don’t expect March or April blooms. Left outside, these lilies typically bloom in May or June.

▪ Take a few minutes to tidy up your spring bulbs. Trim off spent flower stems on daffodils and tulips, but leave the leaves attached until they yellow. Those leaves are feeding the bulb, so it can make more flowers next spring. For a neater appearance, tie up or braid daffodil leaves.

▪ In the vegetable garden, plant seeds for lima and snap beans, beets, carrots, celery, chard, cucumbers, endive, fennel, jicama, melons, mustard, okra, potatoes, radish, soybeans, spinach, summer and winter squash, turnips and watermelon.

▪ Start to set out tomatoes as ground temperatures warm. Tomatoes need nights above 50 degrees; overnight temperatures were still dipping into the low 40s just last week. Wait on peppers and eggplants until early May; they like it hotter.

▪ Plant summer bulbs including dahlias, lilies and gladioluses.

▪ Weed, weed, weed. Pull them out before they flower.

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