B. Rosie Lerner Purdue News Service
---- — HOME (Indoor plants and activities)
Prepare storage areas for overwintering tender flower bulbs and garden produce.
Thanksgiving (or Christmas) cactus can be forced into bloom for the Thanksgiving holidays. Provide 15 hours of complete darkness each day, for instance, from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., for approximately eight weeks. Keep temperature at about 60-65 degrees F. Temperatures of 55F will cause flower buds to set without dark treatment.
Dig and repot herbs, or take cuttings, for growing indoors over winter.
Store leftover garden seed in a cool, dry place. A sealable jar with a layer of silica gel or powdered milk in the bottom works well.
Bring houseplants moved outside for summer indoors before night temperatures fall below 55F. Gradually decrease light to acclimate the plants and help reduce leaf drop. Check and control insects and diseases before putting these plants near other houseplants.
Poinsettias saved from last year can be reflowered for this year’s holiday by providing complete darkness for 15 hours daily from about Oct. 1 until about Dec. 10.
YARD (Lawns, woody ornamentals and fruits)
Fall is a good time to plant many container-grown or balled-and-burlapped nursery stock. Prepare a good-sized hole, plant at the same depth it grew in the nursery and water thoroughly. Mulching will help protect against large fluctuations in soil temperature and moisture. Be sure to stake or guy-wire tall plants to protect them from strong winds. Wrap tree trunks to protect against frost cracks or animal damage.