Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Reader's Questions: Transplanting and Bulbs

In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil. And at no season, safe perhaps in Daffodil time, do we get such superb colour effects as from August to November. ~Rose G. Kingsley

Today I have some more garden questions and answers. I hope you find them helpful!

I have black eyed susan and daisy plants coming up that I don't think are going to have enough time to bloom before the weather starts turning. Can you tell me if these same plants will come up next year or do I need to start new plants from seeds. If they will come up next year when would be a good time to transplant them somewhere else? ~Linda

Black-eyed Susans are biennial, which means they live for two years, blooming during the second year. They form SO many seed heads that they should reseed and you will have new plants and will always have more than you'll need. In the spring you can dig around the roots and plant in a new spot if you wish. Later you'll have more plants, and you can move those in the spring or fall also.

You didn't say which type of daisy you were growing, but Shasta Daisy is the most popular. It's a perennial, and grows much like the Black-eyed Susans. Next year they should bloom for you. If you need to move them you can do that now. They will multiply and in a couple years you'll have more. Just dig them up and carefully divide the clumps, and plant where you want them to grow. Always keep transplants well watered and if possible move them on a day where it's not scorching hot.

Can you do anything with the seed pods that form on Calla Lilies after the blossoms are done? They look like little bulbs, are they plantable?

As a general rule you cut off the seed pods of calla lily and cannas so more energy can go into the tubers/bulbs than the seed pod. IF you want to try germinating and growing them from seed, then leave it on the stem until it becomes large and turns a yellowish shade. Pick the pods, and separate them. If you squeeze the pods the seed is inside them. Rinse them off and plant the seeds in pots. Starting them indoors is best, and the germination may take quite a long time. If you are in a tropical climate you could try doing this in the outside soil.

How do I store raw cabbage after thinly slicing for a salad (before dressing, etc. is added). ~Louanne

First, slice the cabbage as close to using it as possible. Store it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. To prevent it from discoloring you can sprinkle it with lemon juice-- just sprinkle and shake the bag.

More tips on cabbage harvest and storage plus recipes!

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