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Proctor: Cold weather garden tasks

9:05 AM, Oct 25, 2012   |    comments
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If you have pumpkins and gourds decorating your porch, bring them inside. They shouldn't be left outside in freezing weather.

There is still time to dig up cannas, dahlias and other summer bulbs such as gladiolus. If they're in pots, so much the better. Just cut back the blackened foliage and store the bulbs in their pots in a cool, dark basement room. Some gardeners take a chance and leave these bulbs in the ground over winter. If you do this, mulch them heavily with compost, soil or bark. Then cross your fingers.

Obviously sprinkler systems and spigots should be turned off. Tools can be cleaned and stored.

Don't get too tidy in the garden. Clean up vegetable plots and compost dead tomato, pepper and squash plants, for example, but don't cut back perennials or roses. Don't touch these until early spring. Don't worry much about fallen leaves in beds and borders. They help protect plants from cold and also crumble during winter and enrich the soil.

After this snow melts and the weather warms, there will still be time to plant spring-flowering bulbs such as tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and crocus. These can be planted until the soil freezes, which is generally around Thanksgiving. The bulbs cannot be saved until spring to plant as they will dry out and die.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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