You may be in the mood for fall, but it’s time to think spring. Plant daffodils and other spring bulbs that provide a lot of spring flower power without much water or care. 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. In Sacramento, tulips and hyacinths require six weeks in the refrigerator crisper before planting to mimic winter under a blanket of snow. 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 summer bulbs; they need to come out of the ground. 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.
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▪ 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 off plants.
▪ 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.