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(October 2012)

QuestionMy spring bulbs are coming up, what should I do?  Should I just leave them or replace with new bulbs in November?  I live in Western Bella Vista.


AnswerA lot of plants are confused this year, so it is no wonder that our bulbs are too.  Leave them alone and hopefully they will slow down in their new growth as the weather continues to get cooler, and then still bloom again in the spring.  I have seen some snowdrops foliage appearing as well, but there isn’t anything you can do to stop it or force the foliage back into the bulbs.  You can always add to your bulb collection in November, but don’t count these out yet.


QuestionArkansas Gardener October 2012 Zone Report


AnswerGarden clean up is important.  Our poor plants need as much tender loving care as they can get after making it through the past two years outside.  Rake up spent debris, cut back perennials as they begin to die back.  Cannas continue to be plagued by the leaf roller, and it lives in spent debris in the garden, so don’t give it a resting place.  Cut and destroy.  Add a fresh layer of mulch in all gardens.  Take inventory of what worked, and what didn’t.  The only plants you should be fertilizing now are winter annuals and vegetable gardens.  Everything else is preparing for winter, and should not be encouraged to keep growing. Houseplants should all be safely back indoors, along with any non-winter hardy plants you want to save.  Cut back on the watering indoors and give them bright light to acclimate to the inside conditions.  Check for insects. Plant spring blooming bulbs from now through the first of the year.  Expand your plant palette and instead of just daffodils and tulips, try some unusual bulbs.  The alliums, or flowering onions are gaining in popularity along with scilla, grape hyacinths and snowdrops.


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