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Garden Checklist: Don’t be afraid to bury the dead

Now is the time to plant your cool-weather vegetables.
Now is the time to plant your cool-weather vegetables. Big Stock Photo

Happy Halloween! Does your vegetable garden look scary?

Summer’s tomato vines and corn stalks are now likely browned with age and appear more appropriate for a graveyard than a living landscape. Pull those dead and dying remnants, then bury them in the compost pile.

While that shovel is handy, go ahead and turn the soil, digging in some amendments. Then, start fresh with some winter veggies.

▪ 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.

▪ Plant daffodils, Dutch iris and other spring bulbs. Stagger your plantings to extend your bloom time next spring. Don’t forget to plant the tulips you have chilling in the refrigerator; after six weeks in the fridge, they’re ready to go in the ground.

▪ A little attention to perennials now pays big dividends next spring and summer. Divide and replant overcrowded agapanthas, daylilies and Shasta daisies. Share some root divisions with friends and neighbors.

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