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Tidewater Gardening

lects on the surface. During the winter, this standing water will freeze and can damage your plants. To alleviate this problem, you can dig shallow trenches to help drain away the excess water. Also, if you see standing water, make a note of it and be prepared to raise the bed next spring. Remember that many perennials may be planted or divided and replanted in the fall. Make sure you get them in the ground early enough to establish their roots before the ground freezes.

This will help root development and make them send out vigorous sprouts in the spring. Some of the plants may be lifted and heeled into the cold frame. These plants can be used next spring to propagate side sprouts that can be replanted. Many gardeners are actively raking the abundant leaves that have fallen and need to be cleaned up. Leaves left on the turf will smother it. In addition to raking leaves from the lawn, make sure that you remove any leaves that have fallen in your pansy bed. Before raking through your herbaceous perennials, such as lilies and iris, cut the dead plant stems and leaves, and remove dead f lower stalks. Avoid pulling the stems and leaves up out of the plant because doing so will produce holes in the crown of the plant that will lead to crown rot problems. Be sure to check your perennial beds after a period of rain falls. Look for standing water that col-

While you are cleaning up the f lower beds, don’t forget that it’s not too late to plant spring bulbs. It is important that the bulbs be planted while the soil is still warm to promote good root growth. A healthy large root system produced this fall will result in impressive blooms next spring. A large root system is essential for the absorption of the water and nutrients necessary to produce f lowers and leaves. It will be necessary to mulch the soil heavily to conserve as 84

November 2017 ttimes web magazine  
November 2017 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times November 2017