Set sights on fall planting, storing and gardening advice

By Mary Fran McClure
WSU Chelan/Douglas County Master Gardener

red dahlia.
What gardener wouldn’t proudly show off an impressive bloom like this crimson dahlia blooming in the Community Education Garden in late September. Learn how to grow your own during the WSU Extension Master Gardener’s event on Saturday. – Provided photo/WSU Extension Chelan-Douglas Master Garden Program
Mary Fran McClure
Mary Fran McClure – WSU Extension Chelan/Douglas County Master Gardener – photo by Don Seabrook, Wenatchee World

Planting garlic, digging and overwintering dahlias, and planting bulbs for spring glory are among the topics included in our bonus Third Saturday in the Garden coming up Saturday, Oct. 21. This free event from 1 to 3 p.m. is at the Community Education Garden, 1100 N. Western Ave., Wenatchee.

In previous years we’ve ended our program’s Third Saturday series in September, but this year we’re hoping for a nice fall afternoon for our timely presentations. So you regulars, be sure to note the time change for this fall event.

The first demonstration includes tips from Master Gardener Andy Kahn on successful garlic planting. Learn about garlic bulb quality, spacing of cloves and preferred soil and pest management, as well as a discussion of two types of garlic, hardneck and softneck.

Master Gardener Mona Kaiser will lead the demonstration on digging and saving dahlia tubers. She will discuss proper tools, cleaning tubers and then the all-important challenge of locating eyes on the crown of each tuber before dividing and storing for winter.

The third talk covers spring blooming bulbs, tubers, rhizomes and corms. Yes, so many popular bulb-type plants are actually not bulbs but corms (crocus, crocosmia, gladiola), rhizomes (bearded iris, canna, lily of the valley) and tubers and tuberous roots, (dahlia, daylily, caladium and tuberous begonia).

The Master Gardener team of Mona Kaiser, Kate Robertson and Paige McKenzie will cover how, when and where to plant these spring bloomers, including planting depth, spacing and general care.

Back by popular demand is our pruner sharpening team led by Barry Benbow. Bring along your pruners and loppers for sharpening before winter sets in. This ever-popular opportunity is limited to pruners and loppers; please, no garden shears or other tools. We appreciate donations to help fund our program’s many community activities.

A Master Gardener Foundation sales table will offer our favorite garden gloves and other tools, books and plenty of garden-related items. Consider this opportunity to purchase with Christmas gift-giving in mind.

No plant clinic this time, so through the end of October you can take your garden questions to our weekly plant clinic from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays in the WSU Extension office at 412 Washington St., Wenatchee. You can email questions year-round to our virtual clinic team. The email address is

The Home Depot is this month’s event sponsor, renewing their continued support of our Community Education Garden.

For more information, contact WSU Extension at (509) 667-6540 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and between 8 a.m. and noon on Fridays.

A WSU Chelan and Douglas County Master Gardener column appears weekly in The Wenatchee World. To learn more, visit or call (509) 667-6540.