gardening basics

" One of the most rewarding tasks in November and December is planting ornamental bulbs. You might be able to rejuvenate any bulbs that have gone "blind" (they have no bloom) by digging them up, then dividing and planting them elsewhere with bulb fertilizer. It might take an extra year to blossom because the embryonic flower is "set" into the bulb in the spring, using food gathered by the leaves. So don't cut back bulbs until leaves yellow and die back.

" Drain and store hoses, fertilizers and chemicals in a dry place.

" Use holiday lights in your covered bed or cloche to keep greens producing into the winter. Leave them on 24/7. This will allow some slow growth, otherwise, growth will likely stop until February.

" Tie up canes on berry plants. Fall-bearing raspberries should be pruned.

" To protect fruit trees from fungus and kill insect eggs, spray dormant oil. Use lime-sulfur spray on grape vines to prevent fungus.

" Perennials are unique plants with differing needs over the winter. Provide individual care for the best spring and summer garden.

" Daisies emerge from overwintered basal growth which needs adequate light, so cut down the old stalks. Peonies need to be cut down to prevent fungus infections. Iris leaves should be trimmed down in an inverted "V" shape.

" Mums do better if you leave the old brown growth on. Wildflowers can be left to spread seed and provide a home for beneficial insects.

" Cut roses down to waist height to protect root structures from winter winds.

" Remove from the ground or mulch tender perennials: canna lilies, calla lilies and dahlias. Storage in the garage will protect from freezing. Don't let them dry out completely.

" Automatic sprinkler systems should be turned off and drained this month to prevent winter damage.

" The 11th annual Winter Dreams-Summer Gardens symposium, put on by the Jackson County Master Gardeners Association, is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 7, in a new location. Classes will be in the Rogue Community College/Southern Oregon University Higher Education Center at 101 Bartlett St. in Medford. Register ahead. Call 541-776-7371, or e-mail,

" Wondering how you can cut down on those pesky weeds around the house? Bob Reynolds will share best practices for home weed control, 7 to 9 p.m., Nov. 10, at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, 569 Hanley Road, Central Point. Call for info at 541-776-7371. Class fee is $5.

" Learn how to build a fantastic rock garden by two area authors: Baldassare Mineo and Phyllis Gustafson. They present at the next meeting of the local chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society: 7 p.m., Nov. 10. It's free, and refreshments will be served. Call 541-664-5934 for location or more information.

" Jackson County has four clubs belonging to the Oregon State Federation of Garden Clubs ( Each local club has its own meetings and calendar.

Ashland: Nov. 2: "Victory Gardens," with speakers Bill Bietz, Joanie Kintscher and Carol Oneal. Call 541-482-5946 or 541-482-6951 for location.

Central Point: 10 a.m., Nov. 3; call 541-830-8951 for location.

Jacksonville Garden Club: 12:20 p.m., Nov. 19; "Thanksgiving Arrangements" and food collection. Call 541-324-1681 for location.

Medford: 1 p.m., Nov. 20; "Feeding Rogue Valley Birds during Winter." Call 541-772-0544 for location.

" North Mountain Park Nature Center, 620 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland, will teach you how to make a rain barrel out of a plastic, food-grade, 55-gallon barrel. The class fee is $5, and they'll even sell you the plumbing supplies for $12.50. Workshop is 7 to 8:30 p.m., Nov. 12. Call 541-488-6606.

" Project FeederWatch can always use volunteers. The information collected will be submitted to Cornell University's FeederWatch Project, a nationwide bird monitoring effort. North Mountain Park Nature Center, 620 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland, will hold a free workshop at 9 a.m. on Nov. 21 to teach bird identification. Bring binoculars and field guides if you have them, or you may check out loaners. Contact the nature center at 541-488-6606.