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Norwalk Daily Voice serves Norwalk & Rowayton

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Coax Your Garden Into Shape for 2012

If you think the gardening season is over just because there's a nip in the air, think again. There's almost more to do in the fall than in early spring. Here are some tips to help you get your fall garden ready for next year.

• Take photographs of the flowerbeds, print them on plain paper and label the plants. When things start growing in the springyou won't have to guess what everything is.

• Have the soil tested so that you know what nutrients need to be added. Different plants have different requirements. Find out more about soil tests through the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System . A standard nutrient analysis costs $8 per sample. The test takes two weeks and results include a thorough analysis with recommendations for amendments.

• After amending your soil, perform your own soil tests at intervals using a home test kit. Local nurseries and the garden center at Home Depot have them in stock.

• Perennials (plants that come back every year) that have outgrown their spot in a flowerbed should be dug up and divided. Don't be afraid of damaging the plant. Dig up the whole plant and chop it in half with a sharp spade. Now you have two plants. Plant one back in the hole and give the other to a friend. Or plant it somewhere else in the garden.

How's your fall garden looking? Want to send me photos? You'll find me at fpearson@mainstreetconnect.us.

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