We are ramping up fertilization on all plants now that the temperature is a bit cooler. Poinsettias & Patience: It is essential to increase the hours our plants are in the dark in order to speed up their flowering by Christmas. These plants need about 14 hours of darkness over a 6 week period to flower. We plant bulbs. For tulips, we wait until the end of October so that the temperature has dropped even lower. In the case that bulbs have been planted since the middle of September, it is possible that some of them have already sprouted. We water them sparsely if it is not raining. We often collect the fallen leaves because with the increase in atmospheric humidity they are an ideal shelter for harmful insects and pathogens. We can propagate our herbs (eg basil, mint) by cutting cuttings, tender non-woody branches, and plant them in small pots to keep indoors in winter. We collect seeds and uproot the annual plants that have started to dry out. Store the seeds in a dry and cool place until next spring.