Mid-Atlantic

November, 2001
Regional Report

Plant Bulb Drifts


When planting smaller bulbs such as crocus, snowdrops or chionodoxa, plant them by the handful, at least twenty or so at a time. Place them together at somewhat random but close spacing in an informally shaped area (called a drift) so that they create a loose carpet effect when they bloom.

Aerate Compost


When building the compost pile (use those fall leaves!) insert an upright, wire mesh cylinder about nine inches diameter in the center. Leave this core empty, to increase aeration within the pile and reduce the need for turning it by hand. The cylinder should be taller than the pile and kept clear of debris to maximize the air flow.

Winterize Faucets


Now that nighttime temperatures are dropping below the freezing mark, it's time to prepare outdoor watering systems for winter. Turn off the water supply or otherwise protect outdoor water faucets; drain, inspect and store garden hoses; and perform critical routine seasonal maintenance on irrigation systems as directed by the manufacturer.

Plant Paperwhites

Paperwhites, the special narcissus for indoor forcing, take four to six weeks to bloom after planting. Use a leak-proof container filled with pebbles and water. Plant the bulbs pointy end up; bury only the bottom half of each bulb. Keep the water level just below -- not touching -- the base of the bulbs and place in a bright location.

Leave Natural Bird Feeders

Consider leaving the last annual and perennial flowers and seed heads untrimmed this fall. Many are decorative under a layer of frost or light snow and birds and other wildlife will feast on them long into the winter. The stems are still easy to remove in early spring once the weather has beaten them down.

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