Western Mountains and High Plains

October, 2008
Regional Report

Choosing Bulbs for Damp Sites

Plant Allium cernuum, Crown Imperial, dog-tooth violet, Siberian squill, Spanish bluebell, spring and summer snowflakes, and winter aconite in perennial beds that are irrigated regularly. They can withstand the moisture, whereas bulbs for naturalizing like it drier.

Overwintering Perennials in Containers

Hardy perennials used in container plantings will best survive the winter when transplanted into an empty flower bed. Cover the transplants with loose mulch or evergreen boughs, and water every two to three weeks this fall, as needed. Dig them the following spring and replant in containers.

Collecting Leaves

Autumn leaves are nature's natural mulch. I like to mow leaves in the lawn and collect them in the catcher bag. Once shredded, they can be used in the perennial flower bed, around perennial vegetables, around shrub borders, or incorporated into the vegetable garden to add valuable organic matter.

Protecting Tender Vegetation

Cover tender vegetables and flowers if you want to extend the short growing season. Use cardboard boxes, an old sleeping bag, blankets, or spun garden fabric. Avoid plastic as it is not a good insulator and can transfer frost more quickly.

Freezing Herbs

Preserve the unique, fresh flavors of your homegrown herbs by freezing them. Place a few cups of your favorite herb in a food processor with a half cup of mild-flavored olive oil. Freeze the mixture in ice cube trays, remove from trays, and store in labeled freezer bags.

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