Time to bring in the bulbs -- next year they'll blossom anew
Just in case your porch, kitchen, cellar, and attic are not yet full to bursting, there is one more thing to bring in from the garden in the fall -- the tender bulbs. Now don't run to get them. These are underground and safer longer than the houseplants and green beans. But don't put it off too long, either. A lot of next year's flowers could freeze if you do.
Achimenes are beginning to go dormant when the lower leaves begin to shrivel. From then on withhold water from the plant. When the stems are completely dry, cut them off and store the pots, baskets, or dug-up bulbs in a dry place. A temperature of 60 degrees F. is ideal for these.
Tuberous begonias can be stored until dry by turning the pots they're in on their sides. Most growers remove the soil completely once the plant's top growth has dried. Some even wash off all the soil before the skin dries, while it is less likely to be damaged. Leave on the larger roots.
Store in a well-ventilated, dry place, 45 to 50 degrees F., in shallow trays or boxes, either uncovered or very lightly covered with dry peat moss, vermiculite, or sand.
Caladiums like a warm dry place. Put them, along with the pumpkins and squash, in an out-of-the-way cupboard in the kitchen.
Cannas and dahlias are less fussy and can be treated alike. When a hard frost kills the top growth, cut off the stalk to within 6 inches of the ground. Leave this for a week or 10 days for the tubers to ripen thoroughly.
Then dig very carefully with a spading fork. Rub off most of the soil and turn the clump of tubers upside down to let the rest of the sap drain out of the stem. Leave them exposed to the sun and wind for several hours to dry completely.