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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Seeds, Bulbs, Leeks & Storage

As we nestle into the autumn season, some quick Tuesday garden reminders for those on the run. One of the easiest fall tasks on hand - save your seeds from your favorite annuals. Sunflowers and Marigolds are two that come to mind. 
Sunflowers seeds for next spring's planting season
Why? Because you can keep growing them year after year and all it takes is but a few minutes of your time to clip, dry and store.  Plus, it’s rewarding and fun. And as @The_RHS reminded the garden world yesterday, remember to leave a few seed heads for the birds. A garden can be a cold-weather sanctuary for some of our wildlife friends.
The next item on hand - the bulb orders.
If you didn’t take heed back in August/September to place your bulb order, you could still be in luck. If you dig out that catalog or search online, you might hunt down a
select choice of bulbs but do it now. If you're out and about, check your local garden retailers to see what's left on their shelves. Remember - spring and bulbs are synonymous so if you lose this fall opportunity to plant them, it's a miss on your own garden bulb party come spring.
Now onto harvesting and storing what you grew in the edible garden. Our leeks are still standing tall and make a tasty soup with some of our home-grown potatoes. Speaking of potatoes...
Leeks in the garden
If you did grow some spuds for the first time, storing them through the winter might prove a challenge so here's the skinny on potato storing tips. This was shared yesterday on
our Facebook page from Bonnie Plants. “Potato Storage Tip: If you plan to store potatoes into winter, select tubers that are firm and without soft spots. Store in a dark room with high humidity; the temperature should be 38 F to 40 F. Do not store potatoes with apples. Check potatoes frequently for sprout formation; knock off sprouts with your hands and dispose. Do not refrigerate potatoes. Tubers will hold at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks.”
Potatoes grown and ready for storage in our basement
So that’s the quick and easy for the Tuesday autumn tips. To end, it’s a Bill Bryson quote from ‘At Home: A Short History of Private Life.’ “
Originally, the cellar served primarily as a coal store. Today it holds the boiler, idle suitcases, out-of-season sporting equipment, and many sealed cardboard boxes that are almost never opened but are always carefully transferred from house to house with every move in the belief that one day someone might want some baby clothes that have been kept in a box for twenty-five years.” So use your cellar for something fruitful like storing your root vegetables. And as always, enjoy the foliage. It’s the best part about fall. And remember, it's also the best season to think DESIGN!
Enjoy the foliage.
© All Images by Ann Bilowz 

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)