Community Gardening

• Apply broadleaf weed killers to lawns now to control chickweed, henbit, dandelions and other hardy spring weeds. Avoid areas where seeding is still yet to be done as herbicides will interfere with seed sprouting and establishment.

• Cannas, dahlias and elephant ear bulbs can be dug when frost nips their foliage. Allow the plants to dry in a frost-free ventilated location for a week or two before storing for winter.

• “Pluck” only the petals from rose flowers as they fade, leaving the remainder of the spent bloom intact to allow hips (fruits) to develop.

• Pick gourds anytime after their stem turns brown and the tendrils next to them become dry. Small ornamental gourds must be picked before frost. Hardshell gourds (Lagenaria spp.) need not be picked before frost kills the vine.

• Begin potting up spring bulbs for forcing later this winter. Store pots in a cool, frost- and rodent-free location until time to bring indoors, usually in 12 to 15 weeks.

• Water houseplants less frequently and stop fertilizing now as growth slows in response to shorter day length.

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