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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
September 17, 1999     Cape Gazette
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September 17, 1999
 

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CAPE GAZETI, Friday, September 17 - September 23, 1999.65 T Continued from page 64 to our lives." Garden centers were asked to attach a hanging tree tag on the branch of every tree displayed. Each selected site was sent a stack of tags and two brightly col- steps to successful tree planting: ored banners. 1) select a tree that meets your One banner was to place in a prime location where customers would see it immediately upon entering the store; the other was to serve as a focal point of the ac- tual display. The tag illustrates the four easy needs and fits the site; 2) dig a wide, shallow hole; 3) for con- tainer trees, loosen root mass be- fore planting, and for balled and burlapped trees, keep the ball in- tact; atld 4) water it slowly and add a thin layer of mulch. A few hours spent planting bulbs this fall can result in a colorful garden next spring. Fall into the habit of planting spring bulbs Have you ever envied a neigh- bar's yard that overflows with bright tulips and daffodils every spring? Ever wished you had the time, tools and talent to do the same in your own yard? Well, get out your trowel because this year you're going to do it. Here's the big payoff. A couple of weekend hours this fall means a beautiful springtime yard for years to come. Bulbs are perennials - they come back every year - and some even naturalize, meaning they multiply on their own. The most popular spring bulbs include anemones, crocuses, grape hyacinths, iris, snowdrops and tulips. And while bulbs are traditional- ly associated with Holland, where most of the world's hardy spring flower bulbs are grown, most bulbs have their origins in the Middle East or Southern Europe. Prized and traded among emperors and kings, many bulbs were first introduced by soldiers returning from the Crusades who wanted to propagate exotic flowers in the na- tive countries. HUGE ASSORTMENT OF FLOWERING TREES 82, SHRUBS Bulb basics Spring blooming bulbs become available in garden centers and hardware stores in late summer. It's a good idea to buy them early when the selection is best, and plant them as soon as the days get cooler. Assorted bulbs can be pur- chased in prepackaged mesh bags or individually. It helps to select bulbs the way you choose fresh fruit, according to Deb Wells, of The Home Depot. "Choose fat bulbs that aren't mushy when they're squeezed," she said. "I also like to smell the bulbs. If they have an odor of mildew or rot, the bulbs probably won't make it.through the winter." Garden planting 101. Bulb planting is a relatively simple pro- cedure, provided the gardener has the right tools: a trowel, a garden- er's knee pad, bone meal and a sense of good timing. In the north, spring bulbs are usually planted between mid-Sep- tember and early November, be- fore the ground freezes. Once in the ground, bulbs function like factories, storing and processing their own food through the cold winter months. In warm climates, spring bulbs can be more challenging to gar- deners since the winters are not cold enough to make many bulbs go dormant. So it's best for south- ern gardeners to store their bulbs, package and all, in the refrigerator anywhere from four to eight weeks before planting. This will give them a chance to 'chill out' before going fnto the garden in early spring. "Make sure there is no ripening fruit in the refrigerator with the bulbs," Wells said. "The fruit can give off bulb- damaging gases." Traditionally, bulbs are planted by digging a hole about three times the depth of the bulb itself. A mixture of compost and bone meal is added to the bottom of the whole before the bulb is placed into it, root side down. Bulbs pre- fer sunny areas with well-drained soil. If soil appears a little too wet, mix in a little sand to promote more effective drainage. Planting bulbs in a shady area is fine, as long as the trees are decid- uous. For a landscaped look, arrange the bulbs in groupings - a few widely spaced for the larger flowers, several closer together for the smaller ones. One of the reasons bulb garden- ing is so popular is that the plant- ed areas are usually low mainte- nance. However, there are some ad- vantages to topping the beds with compost of a 5-10-5 fertilizer in the fall and again in early spring. Deep watering is also a good idea if the summer has been particular- iy dry. The Area's Largest Supplier of: TREES * SHRUBS * PERENNIALS * DECORATIVE YARD ACCESSORIES BALED PINE NEEDLES FALL SHRUBBERY HAS ARRIVEDtl Dferent oaks & weeping cherry trees. -EXPERT ADVICE AVAILABLE TO MAKE YOUR YARD A SHOWPLACE- East Coast Perennials (302) 945-5853 Hall,Jween Decorations Pumpf:ins- Gourds .Hay. Cornstalks Git:l:s MuIIIS Variety 9 45 Varieties tal Grasses at Great OPEN: MON. - SAT.. 8 am - 5pro Sun. 10-4 DIRECTIONS: Off Fit. 24; turn North at traffic light (Mt. Joy Road) By Nanticoke Museum and Catholic Church. Travel 3/4 miles and turn left onto the first blacktop road (Cordrey Rd.) EAST COAST PERENNIALS and GARDEN CENTER is located 112 mile on the left.