Garden Tips: Make fall gardens fragrant with hardy herbs | Health/Fitness

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PLANT HERBS: Fall is an excellent time to plant many popular hardy herbs. Parsley, for instance, is far more productive when planted in the fall rather than spring. And this is a great time to select and plant mints in the garden. There are many kinds of mints, and whether you are making tea, jelly, Mojitos or mint julips will affect which you choose to grow. Other herbs to plant include lemon balm, thyme, oregano, chives, rosemary and lavender.

STOCK UP ON FLOWER BULBS: Purchase tulip and hyacinth bulbs in the next few weeks, and refrigerate them for six to eight weeks. Plant them in late December or early January. Plant all other types of spring flowering bulbs now. They do not need to be prechilled.

PLAN AHEAD FOR A FREEZE: It’s time to make plans for how you intend to handle your tender tropical plants in the ground this winter. Decide what needs protection, how you will protect them and what you will leave unprotected (such as inexpensive easily replaced tropicals).

CITRUS RIPENS: We are well into citrus season. Lemons, satsumas and kumquats are all ripe now. Oranges and grapefruits will mostly ripen in December. Citrus fruit store well on the tree for weeks after they turn ripe (change color), so there is no hurry to harvest.

BRING GREEN TOMATOES INSIDE: Warm fall weather has produced nice crops of fall tomatoes. As the weather gets cooler later this month and into December, fall tomatoes will not ripen as well. As soon as the fruit reach full size, harvest them green and place them inside at room temperature until they turn red. Light is not necessary for ripening. Harvest all tomatoes if a freeze threatens.

GARDEN TIPS

> Fall is an excellent time to plant many popular hardy herbs. Parsley, for instance, is far more productive when planted in the fall rather than waiting until spring. And, this is a great time to select and plant mints in the garden. There are many kinds of mints, and whether you are making tea, jelly, Mojitos or mint julips will affect what type of mints you choose to grow. Other herbs to plant include lemon balm, thyme, oregano, chives, rosemary and lavender.

> Purchase tulip and hyacinth bulbs in the next few weeks and refrigerate them for six to eight weeks. Plant them in late December or early January. Plant all other types of spring flowering bulbs now. They do not need to be pre chilled.

> It’s time to make plans for how you intend to handle your tender tropical plants in the ground this winter. Decide what needs protection, how you will protect them and what you will leave unprotected (such as inexpensive easily replaced tropicals).

> We are well into citrus season. Lemons, satsumas and kumquats are all ripe now. Oranges and grapefruits will mostly ripen in December. Citrus fruit store well on the tree for weeks after they turn ripe (change color), so there is no hurry to harvest.

> Warm fall weather has produced nice crops of fall tomatoes. As the weather gets cooler later this month and into December, fall tomatoes will not ripen as well. As soon as the fruit reach full size, harvest them green and place them inside at room temperature until they turn red. Light is not necessary for ripening. Harvest all tomatoes if a freeze threatens.



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