Categories
Fall

Fall is simply Mumbelievable for gardening

People ask me…..Rick why do you always say Fall is one of your favorite times of year to garden? Well first…. I like Autumn….that makes me the fall guy. But a more important reason is it is one of the most efficient and effective times of the year to plant. It’s also a time for the Mumbelievable, playful Pansies and fabulous foliage. That’s why they call it Awwwtumn. And Mums the word for instant color! Mum Ma Mia! Chrysanthemum is coined from Greek words chrysos meaning gold and anthos meaning flower. They are Mumbelieveable!

For instant color they are simply Mumbelievable!

1. Plants in Fall put their efforts into establishment (roots) instead of a focus on top growth (spring)
2. In Fall the soil is warm compared to spring making it easier to work with….and again great for root establishment.

Fall is for planting (click on image to enlarge)

3. You can effectively feed woody plants in Fall. Even though air temperatures drop the soil stays warm often all the way to Christmas! Hoe Hoe Hoe. The plant can take in the fertilizer and will get next spring off on the right foot!
4. We generally get plenty of natural rainfall in Fall. That’s why they call it rainfall!

Fall is a great time of year for perennials

5. Autumn provides great comfortable weather for people to work in the yard.
6. You can often get end of season bargains in Fall.
7. It beats watching your favorite football team frustrate you….again.
8. It’s the perfect time to fix your lawn….September and October is the ideal time to seed a new lawn or reseed or repair an existing lawn.
9. An ideal time to control weeds! Winter annual weeds (like Henbit or our friend Harry Bittercress) are establishing in the yard so get them now before they bloom next spring and produce seed. Perennial weeds (Dandelions) are like the trees shutting down for winter so when you spray them with an herbicide it is more effective getting into the root system for total kill versus the top kill only you often get in spring. Take me to your weeder!

Fall is the perfect time to establish or repair a lawn

10. Bulbs! Dig drop and done. Bulbs are easy and when the tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, allium, crocus and more bloom next spring you’ll be glad you invested in Fall!

Fall is for planting Spring Flowering Bulbs!

11. It’s a great time of year to move plants. Cooler temperatures means less stress AND a moved plant gets a dormant time of rest (winter)…..not like a spring planted plant that has the heat of summer to follow.

If you’re going to move some plants Fall is a great time to do it

12. You don’t want to leave roots above soil level (in pots) so get them in the ground. The plants may be winter hardy but the roots will freeze if left in the pots above the soils surface. If you don’t have the planting area yet, plant them pot and all temporarily to be moved next spring.
13. You can even plant “Annuals”. Ornamental Kale, Pansies, Swiss Chard, Snapdragons will tolerate frosts to bloom this Fall.

Plant some annuals for Fall color like Ornamental Kale
Categories
Spring

Container Gardening Tips Video

Here is my YouTube video with Container Gardening Tips. Now that the weather is warming up it’s time to get growing with exciting container combinations! 

 

Categories
Fall

It’s not the end….It’s the second half

I consider September through November the second half of the gardening season. It’s not the end. The perfect time to both enjoy and improve your plot in life.

If you want to establish a great lawn and landscape be out there in the fall season working on it. September to November the soil is still warm, we generally get sufficient rainfall and the air temperature cools. Plants put their effort into root establishment instead of top growth followed by the resting dormancy of winter. It’s a great time of year to plant, move plants or split your plants. When you feed landscape plants in fall even though air temperatures are dropping, soil temperatures remain warm enough for roots to benefit from nutrients giving them a jump start on next year’s growing season.

Fall is for planting
Hairy (Harry) Bittercress

Take me to your Weeder. Most people focus attention on weed killing in spring and summer. It is a good time of year for control of weed SEED and applications of corn gluten as an example can help suppress weed seed hoping to germinate. Weeds however that are vegetative and visual can be very effectively controlled in fall. Winter annual weeds like Henbit that germinate and establish in fall and then appear and bloom seemingly out of nowhere in spring are best controlled in fall. By the time they bloom in spring it’s too late, they are going to die anyhow making your application a revenge spraying and having at that point produced copious amounts of seed to ensure you go have to deal with it again next year. My arch nemesis Hairy Bittercress does this posing as a nondescript innocent enough neighbor in fall and under the snow until spring arrives popping up everywhere with its multitudinous little white blooms. Perennial weeds like dandelions or broadleaf plantain are more vulnerable in fall than spring because they like the trees are sending food reserves to the root system shutting down for winter. If you apply weed controls at that time of the year they translocate well into the root system giving better control than the top kill we often get in spring. It’s either that or accepting compliments on their robust growth and weeding by example by utilizing them for foraging and medicinal reasons

Categories
Fall

I like Autumn for planting….that makes me the Fall guy.

People ask me…..Rick why do you always say Fall is one of your favorite times of year to garden? Well first…. I like Autumn….that makes me the fall guy. But a more important reason is it is one of the most efficient and effective times of the year to plant. It’s also a time for pretty mums, adorable pansies and colorful foliage. Cute. That’s why they call it Awwwtumn.

13 reasons why Fall is for planting:
1. Plants in Fall put their efforts into establishment (roots) instead of a focus on top growth (spring)
2. In Fall the soil is warm compared to spring making it easier to work with….and again great for root establishment.
3. You can effectively feed woody plants in Fall. Even though air temperatures drop the soil stays warm often all the way to Christmas! Hoe Hoe Hoe. The plant can take in the fertilizer and will get next spring off on the right foot!
4. We generally get plenty of natural rainfall in Fall. That’s why they call it rainfall!
5. Autumn provides great comfortable weather for people to work in the yard.
6. You can often get end of season bargains in Fall.
7. It beats watching your favorite football team frustrate you….again.
8. It’s the perfect time to fix your lawn….September and October is the ideal time to seed a new lawn or reseed or repair an existing lawn.
9. ideal time to control weeds! Winter annual weeds (like Henbit) are establishing in the yard so get them now before they bloom next spring and produce seed. Perennial weeds (Dandelions) are like the trees shutting down for winter so when you hit them with an herbicide it is more effective getting into the root system for total kill versus the top kill only you often get in spring. Take me to your weeder!
10. Bulbs! Dig drop and done. Bulbs are easy and when the tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, allium, crocus and more bloom next spring you’ll be glad you invested in Fall!
11. It’s a great time of year to move plants. Cooler temperatures means less stress AND a moved plant gets a dormant time of rest next (winter)…..not like a spring planted plant that has the heat of summer to follow.
12. You don’t want to leave roots above soil level (in pots) so get them in the ground. The plants may be winter hardy but the roots will freeze if left in the pots above the soils surface. If you don’t have the planting area yet, plant them pot and all to be moved next spring.
13. You can even plant “Annuals”. Ornamental Kale is beautiful in Fall and Pansies will tolerate frosts to bloom this Fall and then again next spring when the snow clears!

Categories
Fall

A stroke of genius

September is an ideal month for innovation in the garden. Fall Mums, Asters, Pansies, fall annuals and spring flowering bulbs arrive to help you rejuvenate your landscape canvas. It is truly a stroke of genius to garden in September. Plants put in the ground have plenty of time to root before winter and will be well established to perform in spring. Peonies, Iris and other perennials can be divided and moved. Tulips, Daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs can be planted. Flowering shrubs and perennials as well as trees establish well when planted this month. Here are some ideas for artistic splashes of color for your landscape that you can invest in now.
• For an artistic stroke to your landscape, plant Allium cristophii or Allium schubertii bulbs. You will be rewarded next spring with stunning unusual splashes of color in dramatic fashion!

The amazing look of Allium

Neighbors taking walks through the neighborhood will be sure to ask what those unusual flowers are!
• For a stroke of color combine sub-zero pansies with spring flowering bulbs planted in September. The pansies are available in a kaleidoscope of colors and will bloom this fall. They will bloom again when the snow clears, in spring the bulbs planted below them will grow through the pansies to flower above them. A bed of bright yellow pansies with purple tulips is an amazing sight in spring. Or blue pansies with yellow daffodils will provide dramatic drifts of color next spring.

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

• Buy and plant ornamental grasses in September. They provide immediate interest and will establish themselves now for future enjoyment. Most grasses have inflorescence (plumes of “flowers”) in fall and the foliage gives visual interest swaying in the breeze. Hardy and reliable as well as deer resistant they can dramatically change a landscape quickly. Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’ is a favorite of mine.
• Plant ornamental kale this month for unusual and interesting color through November. Although it won’t overwinter you will love the enjoyment it will bring you in the fall months. It will tolerate some frosts and even becomes more dramatic after a few cold nights. Plan on it looking great all the way to Thanksgiving Day.

Mum-believable!

• Colorful mums can be planted in containers with colorful stems of willow, dogwood or other branches poked through the soil as vertical interest. After the fall season the chrysanthemums can be planted in the ground for winter, cut back and mulched to return again next spring.

• Henry’s Garnet Itea is a fun flowering shrub with long lasting red fall color. It blooms in summer and puts on a great show in fall year after year. Or try an Oakleaf Hydrangea with its dark red to burgundy foliage on cinnamon colored exfoliating stems. When it comes to flowering shrubs I will always opt for a panicle hydrangea in September with ‘Limelight’ one of my favorites.

These pansies are smiling because its pansy planting season!

September is a wonderful month to experiment in your landscape with great success. The weather is friendly to plants and enjoyable for people to be outside expressing their artistic abilities with plants. Time spent planting this month is simply a stroke of genius.