Tip for a Beautiful September Garden

Fall Garden Mum

Labor Day signals a summer about to end. Days are getting shorter and cooling down. Yet with the September 22nd Fall Equinox still ahead, there is time to spruce up your summer garden.

Bright colored Mums are a top pick for fall gardens. They mix well with pumpkins, gourds and acorn squashes. Ripe with vivid color, they make beautiful centerpieces for football parties, especially when surrounded by ornamental acorns or baskets of chips with dip.

When choosing mums, check your local garden centers first. Plants there are typically grown locally, and not shipped from distant nurseries. Locally grown plants are better adapted to local growing conditions: weather, soils and temperature.

Check your plant for damage, leaf spots or wilt. Pick the mum with a good shape, lots of unopened buds and vivid color

If you’re planting outside, try grouping them in a mass for the most effect. Use an odd number of plants for easy arrangement and space them so that the edges of the plants don’t touch.

For containers, fill the pot with enough mums to create a mound. Add kale, pansies and bright-colored cabbage for a colorful fall display.

Frosts can turn a mum’s flowers and leafs black. To avoid the discoloration, trim the stems back and cover with mulch until spring. As a last resort, dig them up and use for compost.

Happy Gardening!

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Gardening Tips

– Bloom where planted –

2014-08-16 09.38.01With Labor Day rapidly approaching, I’m ready to say goodbye to summer’s heat. Especially this year. It’s been stubbornly hot on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. But now, with cooler weather insight, it’s time to clean the annual beds and thin the overgrown perennials. So here’s my to-do list of fall garden projects to get you in the mood for fall gardening.

Know your First Frost dates. Timing your projects is critical. For instance, fall planting in northern zones 1 or 2, where first frost comes early, may not even be possible. Succession planting may be the best alternative.

*Farmer’s Almanac has a handy Frost Date Calculator that let’s you test by state. click here

Plant cool weather vegetables such as lettuce, greens, collards, broccoli, sweet peas, for late fall harvesting.

Plant cool weather flowers such as pansies, violets, snapdragons and mums to add a pop of color until the first frost.

Bring in the house plants. Hibiscus and palms can die back at 40 degrees.

Trim trees and shrubs of dead branches and leaves and inspect them for disease or insect damage. If apparent, contact your county extension agent or Master Gardeners for advice.

Plant trees and shrubs. You’ll be happy come springs.

Divide plants and bulbs. Store tender bulbs in a cool area.

Clean garden tools. Sharpen the lawn mower blades. Restring the edge-trimmer. Discard any old or worn-out tools. Yes, it may be difficult, but there’s nothing worse than having your favorite tool break-down when your creating a new spring project.

Start a compost bin, since you’re cleaning. Use only disease free litter.

Put the annual beds to rest. Pull out all the plants and harvest the seeds for next years gardens.

Get out the Green Manure: Yep, plant clover, alfalfa or winter wheat to fertilize your soil.

Happy Gardening