Monday, September 23, 2013

Falling for Fall

So, fall is here! I get a lot of questions about fall pruning. Don't do it. It can be hard to resist pruning your plants as the leaves fall, but the plants will actually benefit from just being left alone. If pruned now, many plants will produce new growth. Then, when freezing temperatures come that new growth will get hit. For a healthier plant wait until Feb or March, depending on where you live to prune and fertilize.
Continue to check your vegetable seedlings for pests; With the weather still warm, caterpillars and other pests are still on the move.

So, how do you keep your yard looking happy and inviting? Plant fall and winter bedding plants. The mums have been available for a few weeks now. Snap Dragons are available in a variety of heights and colors.
There are some with the bloom standing straight up and then there are types that hang. They can brighten up a porch or landscape in planters or even planted directly in the garden.

Pansies are another favorite for fall and winter. Pansies are available in just about any color imaginable. They also come in different bloom sizes. 
 Other plants I enjoy growing in combination with these are: Violas, Asters, Dianthus,  Rudbeckias, Ornamental Kale, cabbage and peppers. Planting now will give months of enjoyment. Refresh and extend your summer pots with autumn beauties. Watering is important, making sure to give moisture on cool nights and drying fall winds. Dead head the plants (pinch and remove dead blooms) to encourage more blossoms and prolong the show.

Mass planting will give you that, "'Wow!' effect!"  When I am planting in mass I try to plant the plants about 4" apart. A nice trick that helps me with spacing is to use a 4" square container between the plants to keep everything evenly spaced.

Happy Gardening!

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