Ask the gardening expert



When should I plant garlic?

It is now garlic planting season. Garlic planted now generally produces plumper, more pungent cloves than spring-planted garlic.

Is it still OK to plant hardy bulbs in November here in Southwest Washington?

Yes, it’s the best time. Get the daffodils, tulips, crocus, and hyacinths out of the bags and into the ground. Obviously if you’ve already planted, that’s great. But if you haven’t, these bulbs need to receive at least 12 weeks of winter chill in the ground for best spring bloom. Haul out those waterproof knee pads and plant bulbs.

I still see shrubs and trees in garden stores. Would they live if I planted them now?

November through March in western Washington provides ideal weather for transplanting, installing new plants and generally making garden changes. Plant roots thrive when transplanted in damp, cool weather and all installations of new plants well settle in well. Don’t transplant when the ground is sodden and saturated with water or when temperatures are below freezing.

Celeste Lindsay is a certified master gardener. Send questions to