In the Garden:
Mid-Atlantic
October, 2001
Regional Report

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Caladium foliage is extraordinary. Save your favorite caladiums to plant next year.

Late Season To-Do List

The garden is crazy-busy right now. Here's my "short" to-do list.

Repot cuttings taken from tender plants last month. Keep shuttling the tender potted plants in and out, into the enclosed porch at night to keep the frost at bay and outside for the sunshine.

Gently dig the frosted cannas. Remove mushy tops, brush dirt off the rhizomes, dry in a frost free location and then pack in cardboard box of shavings for storage. Keep cool and dry yet well above freezing. Pull and cure gladiolus corms, store these (also caladium tubers) a little warmer in a paper bag at about 50 to 55 degrees. This year I am going to use my min-max thermometer to monitor the temperatures!

Repot amaryllis bulbs that have rested at least eight weeks or are showing growth, water lightly and set in a sunny window sill. Once growth begins, keep slightly moist. Turn regularly.

Pull frozen annuals and add to the compost pile.

Keep planting trees and shrubs. Water new trees and shrubs to keep the soil evenly moist, and also evergreens planted within the last few years. Top up mulch to three inches deep, but avoid touching trunks or stems. Check rabbit wire on fruit trees, re-install deer barriers around the crabapples.

Send soil samples for testing through the County Extension or use a kit. Lime if indicated by test results.

Put steel wool in the gap between the shed floor boards to try to keep out mice. Put bird seed and fertilizer in firmly closed containers to try to keep out mice. Clean out paper wasp nest from soffit!

Clean and put up bird feeders, spread scraps of screening below to make spilled seed cleanup easier. Turn birdbaths on their sides or move into shed to prevent freeze damage, set out shallow metal pans for the birds to use in cold weather.

Keep lawn mowed. Rake leaves. Take to compost pile. Repeat until the snow flies. We live on the edge of the woods. 'Nuf said.


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