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It’s Not Too Late To Plant Bulbs!

By Christa Watters

It’s Not Too Late To Plant Bulbs!

Procrastinators rejoice! Though those of us who grew up in colder climes may think it’s too late to plant our bulbs for spring bloom, it’s really not – at least not for all bulbs. Tulips, for example, can rot in the ground in our heavy Virginia soil during warm, wet falls. Some sources say that waiting until about first frost is better for tulip bulbs, which like colder climates. Plus, it gives the squirrels less time to dig them up before frost hardens the ground. Still, you need to get them in before the ground really freezes.

So November, and sometimes even early December is still fine. It’s also fine for planting daffodils and narcissus bulbs, hyacinths, crocuses, even grape hyacinths.

Be generous – color massing is the most effective way to create an impressive and heart-lifting display next spring. So cluster the bulbs in drifts that complement the rest of your borders or beds.

In our area, most hybrid tulips don’t successfully come back in succeeding years, and should thus be treated like annuals. If you do leave them for a second year, choose Darwin varieties, some authorities recommend. Alternatively, choose species tulips that generally perennialize better and naturalize well in rock garden clusters, as in this photo of Kaufmanniana tulips at the Simpson Waterwise Garden.

Daffodils and narcissi are much more reliable at coming back year after year and even multiplying in the ground. Choose some bulbs for their massing effect, yes. But also consider choosing some for their individual beauty, like these gracefully winged white and yellow Cyclamineus narcissi.

For fall crocus and colchicums, the fall-blooming relatives of our spring bulbs, it is, unfortunately too late this year, but while you peruse the catalogs, make a note on your calendar to order the bulbs in a timely manner next year. Spend some time this winter researching the best times for those.

Publishers Note: This column provided by Master Gardners of Northern VA. We encourage our readers to follow their site for amazing tips and stories.

Common Plants in Thanksgiving Meals

There are several staples to every Thanksgiving meal that have been passed down from generation to generation. These classic dishes are known for Thanksgiving because of the time the plants are ready to be harvested. There have been popular spins on each of these veggies, herbs and even fruits. Here are some of the most common plants that are ready to harvest for Thanksgiving, thus making them popular in most Thanksgiving meals:

Veggie trays – this is how we attempt to eat healthy every big family gathering. Veggie trays will typically include ranch dressing to dip each veggie in. The most popular veggies that are harvested in the fall and included in veggie trays are carrots, celery, radishes, and olives.

Cranberries – there are several different dishes and drinks that include cranberries. These berries are synonymous with fall and are most commonly eaten as cranberry jelly.

Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes – who doesn’t love sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes and gravy? Potatoes are grown all over the world and can be harvested late into the year and also will last a long time in the pantry after digging them out of the ground.

Corn – corn is synonymous with fall. Sweet corn is also one of the symbolic foods that were shared between the pilgrims and Native Americans when settlers first arrived in America.

Onions – similar to potatoes, these are easily grown all over the world and will last a long time in storage. Onions can go with any popular dish and provide additional flavor and texture to the dish.

Garden Sage – herbs can be harvested last into the year until the first hard freeze. You can also dry or freeze herbs to get more use of them into the winter. One common dish sage is used for is in stuffing.

Rosemary – this plant is starting to become more and more popular. The herb provides a strong flavor to many popular dishes, even on the turkey itself. A new trend that people are doing, is growing a rosemary topiary as a fall decor centerpiece,that also provides a great aroma in the house.

Pecans, Apples, Pumpkins – these are the most popular desserts made during Thanksgiving using local produce. Most commonly made into pies, but there are several other dishes you can make using these foods. Pumpkin pie is the most common made pie for Thanksgiving, Pumpkins are also used as decor from Halloween through Thanksgiving.

For more information on these and other common holiday plants and much more, log on to!



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