Pacific Northwest

October, 2012
Regional Report

Continue to Plant Bulbs

You can continue to plant tulips, daffodils, crocus, and other bulbs until the first hard frost. A general rule of thumb is to plant the bulb two to three times as deep as the widest part of the bulb. If the bulb is 1.5 inches wide, then it should be planted 3 to 4.5 inches deep.

Protect Root Crops

Root crops, such as carrots, turnips, potatoes, beets, winter radishes, and parsnips can be left in the ground until you are ready to use them. If you remove the green tops and cover them with straw, mulch, or soil, you can store them in the ground for another couple of months.

Drain Sprinkler Systems

To prevent frost damage to pipes, be sure to drain your sprinkler system. The best way to do this is to turn off the water source that supplies your sprinklers, then open each valve for several minutes to release any water or air pressure in the line. If your pipes are buried less than 12 inches deep in the ground, or if they are without drain valves, use an air compressor to blow the remaining water out of the lines.

Clean Up Garden Debris

You can reduce the incidence of peony botrytis blight and hollyhock rust next year by removing and disposing of the old stems this fall. Removing debris will keep disease pathogens from wintering over in your garden and infecting new growth next spring.

Clean and Store Garden Tools

Before storing for the season, clean power tools of all plant material and dirt. Replace worn spark plugs, oil all necessary parts, and sharpen blades. Store all tools in their proper place in a garden shed or garage, never outdoors where they will develop rust over the winter months.

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