Middle South

October, 2005
Regional Report

Dig Tender Bulbs

Wait until the tops are browned by frost, then dig up cannas, dahlias, and gladioli. Allow roots/bulbs to dry, then brush off excess soil and store in peat moss or vermiculite in a cool, frost-free, dark place.

Pot Up Herbs to Bring Indoors

Dig up a few parsley, sage, and thyme plants and pot them up to bring indoors. Placed on a sunny windowsill and watered regularly, the plants should flourish for several months, if not all winter. Start seeds of annual herbs, such as basil, for your windowsill garden.

Remove Stakes and Trellises

Pull up stakes and take apart trellises for winter storage; they will last longer if not exposed to winter moisture. Brush off excess soil and store in a dry place.

Fill Birdbath and Feeders

Invite migrating birds to take a rest at your house by keeping your birdbath cleaned and filled with fresh water. If you stopped stocking your bird feeder during the summer, start again now that birds need the nutrient- and calorie-rich seeds to prepare for winter.

Harvest Tomatoes

Tomatoes will stop ripening on the vine when daytime highs reach only into the 60s, so begin bringing full-sized green fruit indoors to ripen. There are plenty of ways to use green tomatoes -- from frying to salsa -- so harvest them all!

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