You work “Yard” for the money

You work “Yard” for the money. Thinking of how to stretch your dollar in the garden? To have green thumbs not by the amount of currency handled but rather results in your landscape? Look no further than the months of September and October for help.
You can use your Dis-“clover” card or your “Grass”-ter card or even maybe your Hosta la Visa card with confidence in the fall for a number of reasons. Discounts on plant material are usually readily available. The weather is cooler and rain generally plentiful making it good weather for both you and the new fledgling sprouts.

Fall is for planting
Fall is for planting

Weed control is more effective in fall. Plants root readily in warm soil in fall as the plants put more energy into establishment instead of top growth like they do in the spring. The reasons are numerous why fall is for planting. Bulbs can be planted, lawns established and repaired, landscapes planted or rejuvenated and even annuals like Pansies or Ornamental Kale can be planted.

Ornamental Kale or Cabbage are perfect additions to the landscape for cool season color
Ornamental Kale or Cabbage are perfect additions to the landscape for cool season color

Plants established in fall have a jump start on their counterparts planted in spring and you look like a neighborhood genius.
Start to prepare your tropical deck foliage plants for cabin fever and the move inside. Soon tropical breezes will turn into whatever winter pleases. Your tropicals or houseplants should be inside and behind glass by then. I’m referring to plants like Hibiscus, Mandevilla, Crotons, Boston Ferns, Palms, Ficus and the like. It’s a good idea to bathe the plants before bringing them inside. Maybe some fresh sterilized potting soil is in order or systemic insect granules to keep the bugs at bay. Make sure soil is not saturated so we don’t create a fungus gnat issue in the home. Without the long warm days of sunshine and breezes the plant will need much less water in the months ahead.
Fall is the time to invest in bulb planting. With a good well drained soil and proper depth it is as easy as dig drop done. And oh “deer” if Bambi is a problem in your neighborhood not to worry. Bulbs like Dutch Iris, Alliums, Daffodils, Fritillaria will do just fine.

Fall planted pansies and Tulips planted in fall will be a treat next spring
Fall planted pansies and Tulips planted in fall will be a treat next spring

If you want to plant Tulips or Crocus you will need to have the repellant handy next spring. I successfully had a great batch of yellow tulips this spring and protected them with Milorganite and a repellant. They were beautiful and the deer were “deerly” departed to another area in the neighborhood.
Make your effort and your money count by actively gardening in the fall. You work “yard” for the money and next spring you’ll be glad you did.

Dig Drop Done

I love planting flower bulbs in fall. Maybe it’s my Dutch-European heritage or maybe it’s because planting bulbs is as easy as Dig, Drop, Done. I am amazed every spring by the number of people who call my radio show to confess they never planted the bulbs they bought on impulse the previous fall. Many people will be inspired to make a purchase of Daffodils, Tulips, Hyacinths, Iris, Crocus, Alliums or other spring flowering bulb only to leave them in the trunk, garage, basement or under the seat of the car. I have often bought bulbs and used a pick axe in December to get them in the ground. Why do we procrastinate when such amazing beauty and satisfaction awaits us just a few months away? Investing in your “hortfolio” now will bring brighter days after the dark cold months of winter.

A new bulb marketing campaign is promoting promoting bulbs to ladies trying to attract a new generation of women. The campaign promotes the “surprisingly simple beauty” of bulbs and how they fit into our busy everyday lives. The theme is planting flower bulbs is as simple as Dig, Drop, Done. At the website you’ll meet the ladies: Marcy the Super Mom, Julianna the Fashionista and Evelyn the Empty Nester…….   http://www.digdropdone.com/

I believe planting bulbs can be as easy as dig, drop, done if you apply these simple rules. 1) Dig deep enough. The deeper you plant the more years enjoyment you’ll get from your investment. If the recommendation is to plant 6 inches deep, plant them 8 to 12 inches. 2) Bulbs don’t like wet feet. Well drained soil is best, work in some organic matter to improve the makeup of the soil. 4) When you “drop” the bulbs drop in some bulb fertilizer at the same time. 5) If you have lots of hungry scavengers (squirrels, voles, chipmunks) in your yard, some chicken wire folded over the bulbs when planting will keep them from making your investment a tasty snack. 6) If you have a lot of deer and rabbit pressure in your neighborhood consider leaning toward bulbs like Allium, Fritillaria, Daffodils and Dutch Iris.

So whether you’re into football or the latest season of Dancing with the Stars this fall, take a commercial break for some “dig, drop, done”……you’ll be glad you did next spring!