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It's time to think of spring, and winter
Ask a master gardener
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Plant your spring flowering bulbs. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocus should be planted in the fall through mid-December. They need about 14 weeks of chilling weather to bloom.
Make planting easier with long-handled bulb planters and augers to make the holes. Remember that bulbs planted in groups make for a more effective show in the spring.
Be sure to add a little bone meal or bulb food in the bottom of the hole, before placing the bulb in it. Mulch the bulb planting area to help retain moisture and to keep the soil temperature uniform.
If you haven’t winterized your lawnmower by now, do so at this time. Remove the spark plug and drain or use up any remaining gas in the mower. This is also a great time to clean and sharpen your shovels, rakes, hoes and hand tools before you retire them for the winter. Once they are clean and sharp, coat them with a little oil to prevent rust.
Be sure to mulch in your plants. At least 2-3 inches should be enough winter protection. Remember, mulch to a plant is like a coat to us. Any mulch will perform about the same. Choose one that you think is decorative for your landscape. The shredded cypress and cedar will hold together and not float as much as the other mulches. But a small bark, such as pine bark mulch, not only looks good, but it breaks down a little more slowly and adds organic matter to the soil.
 A three-cubic foot bag of mulch will cover 18 sq. ft. at a 2-inch depth. Don’t buy into the insect free or repellent concept. All mulches will attract insects but the benefits outweigh the negatives.
Remove any stray leaves that may have blown in around your plants. If they are not removed, they can mat down around your plants and smother them or promote rotting.

Landscape training
A full day of training leading toward certification under the GCLP program will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Bamboo Farm and Coastal Gardens in Savannah.
The cost is $25 per person and includes lunch.   
Experts from UGA Cooperative Extension Service will offer participants both classroom and hands-on activities in pest identification, landscape planning and design, and plant identification and use.
Todd Hurt, training coordinator for the GCLP program, will explain the certification processes and examination procedures for those interested in taking the exam at a future date.
Professionals employed in the landscape and turf industry, as well as interested homeowners, will benefit from the training and are encouraged to attend.
One hour of continuing education credit will be given to holders of the commercial pesticide applicators license in ornamentals and turf.
Register by calling the Bamboo Farm and Coastal Gardens at (912) 921-5460. Payment by check or cash will be taken in advance or at the door.
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