Magazine article Sunset

Your CHECKLIST

Magazine article Sunset

Your CHECKLIST

Article excerpt

PLANT

Place cool-season flower starts in the garden, including calendula, forget-me-not, Iceland and Shirley poppies, and violas. Sweet peas hate being moved- seed them in the spot where they'll stay until next spring.

Pot up amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs for a cheery indoor display. Leave the top third of the bulbs exposed, place them in a bright location, and water sparingly until you see the first green growth. No soil needed- they'll happily bloom with their roots in stones, but good drainage is essential to prevent rot.

In mild-winter areas, set asparagus crowns. Be sure you choose their home wisely-unlike many other veggies, asparagus will live for more than 10 years. Prepare the bed by removing rocks, roots, and debris, and give your crop a year to establish.

If you're jonesing for some edible gardening, your best bet this time of year is lettuce. Sow seeds in moist, rich soil in a sunny spot; in cold-winter regions, consider lettuce seedlings early in the month instead. Don't forget: It's your last chance to plant garlic cloves!

MAINTAIN

Weeds are always easier to pull when they're small. Keep that in mind as you see them popping up in beds.

Rake the leaves off your lawn to prevent them from piling up and causing dieback.

PROTECT

It's time to spray peach and nectarine trees with a copper-based fungicide to prevent and treat peach-leaf curl. Purchase at your local nursery.

The best frost protection for plants (except succulents, which don't like wet feet) is to have sufficient water around their roots. …

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