Posts Tagged ‘fall planting’

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Transplanting in Autumn

October 2, 2014

Autumn is the best time to divide and plant vegetation, and to transplant. There are several reasons for moving a plant from one location to another:

  1. The plant has outgrown the space (poor planning—been there!).
  2. The plant is “struggling” to grow in the wrong exposure (been there too—didn’t read the tag or I simply wanted it where “I” wanted it!)
  3. The soil drainage or soil type is all wrong for the plant’s root system.
  4. Sometimes the plant just doesn’t look good with its neighbors. (Hmm, that reminds me of decorating a room!)

Why transplant in autumn? Here are the benefits:

  1. Cooler weather reduces stress. Reduced stress helps the plant’s roots become well-established.
  2. The ground is still warm from the summer heat. Unlike the cool spring ground, warmer ground encourages more root growth and more time for plants to establish a sufficient root system.
  3. Planting in autumn is also about the gardener having more time. Spring is usually a mad rush for gardeners to get the grounds cleaned up, babysit seeds or seedlings, prepare the soil, and plant.

What did I transplant?

Below are six “Evergold” Carex in my front yard. One year ago, each Evergold was the same size when planted twelve inches apart as instructed on the plant tag. As you can see, the three on the right are not doing well. Since all six Evergolds are receiving the same Eastern exposure and water, I suspect it is something in the soil.

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To save my three struggling Evergolds, I transplanted them under a covered area with southern exposure. Now, I just have to wait for spring to see how they are going to react.

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Autumn’s Light Series: Photo 2

November 4, 2013

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Flowing beneath the oak branches, the sun’s rays magically turned Salvia ‘Maraschino’ gilt and deciduous appearing. But the foliage of this evergreen perennial was and still is green. What a treat, mid-morning, to view the highlighted foliage from my office window!

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Garden Update

September 10, 2010

In my perennial garden:  These days, I’m walking on a carpet of leaves. As I look underfoot and then across the garden grounds, my shoulders droop with dread. Then, what isn’t visible among the dry leaves changes my mood. No acorns. Hallelujah. Joy comes back to me. The acorn factory has closed. The factory will fire up again—without a doubt—once the cycle makes a complete turnabout in five to seven years. Until then, instead of 10-zillion h-e-a-v-y leaf bags each fall, I’ll rake and fill 5-zillion light leaf bags. Most importantly, I won’t have to extract a carpet of seedlings.

The second of two round shrubs, on either side of the garden’s entrance, has killed over. Each area now needs new plants, preferably draught-tolerant. At this time, I have no idea what. This will be a good winter project to research. The zinnias are holding up, still blooming. The vincas aren’t fairing as well—which is unusual—so I pulled most of them up this morning. Normally, they are stunning until the first frost.

The crepe myrtle has aphids. No surprise. They are famous for aphids.

In my vegetable bed:  Little-by-little, summer harvest has fallen short of its charitable bounty and only one vegetable—a tomato plant—remains in the raised bed. The hens loved the spent melon, bean, tomato, eggplant, cucumber, and zucchini plants. After I added more soil and mulch, I divided the bed into four five-foot sections for rotation, and then covered each area with old hay to keep the cats out. (Note:  Normally, one would not build a 20-foot-long raised bed because it would bow, but mine is made of very thick beams. There’s no way it will bow.)

The voles have disappeared. I caught four with mousetraps. I’m guessing that the rest of the vole family left to find vegetation elsewhere. Who wants to homestead where there’s no pantry. Guaranteed, if you remove the vegetation the voles flee. At least for the time being.

I’ve gathered the empty, seed packets and noted where each summer vegetable grew. Later, I’ll take a closer look at the season’s mistakes and successes, and log them for future reference. For now, fall vegetable planning and planting is in order for my first, ever, winter garden. I’m not a winter person so the willpower it will take to go into the cold will determine future winter gardens. Not everyone’s heart sings as he or she gardens in the frigid outdoors.

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September Gardening Tasks

September 1, 2010

Please note:  What I write in this space are lessons learned through trial and error, research, and from other gardeners and professionals. I garden in zone 9, but share garden experiences that I believe are relevant to most zones within a reasonable time frame and planting conditions.

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September

MaintenanceAdjust water timers for cooler weather conditions by reducing frequency or time. Check batteries. As winds arrive, keep up with debris and damaged branches. Fall is the best time to plant so start researching, shopping around for trees, shrubs, and perennials that best fit your climate, zone, space, and maintenance needs. Start a new compost pile or add to the old one.

Check and secure or replace old stakes.

Store seeds you’ve gathered and dried in glass jars in a cool, dry place. Be sure to label them with the date and name.

If you keep a garden journal, now is a good time to update your summer triumphs and disappointments. Include favorite and least-favorite annual flowers and vegetable varieties, and why. If you purchased vegetable seeds from a catalog, jot down the information for reordering. Include the seed company’s name and contact information, just in case the catalog is misplaced.

In the vegetable garden:  Plant and sow cool-season crops: artichoke (sold as bare root), cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, onions (right before rains), Brussels sprouts, beets, kale, peas (sweet and snap), carrots, radish, celery (cooking variety will grow year-round), turnip, mustard, parsley (Italian and curly can be grown all year), cilantro, spinach.

Transplant lettuce and strawberries.

In the landscapeRemove summer annuals. Add compost or manure to the soil. Late September, plant spring-blooming bulbs such as daffodils, narcissus, tulips, hyacinths, crocus, and iris. Avoid buying soft, moldy bulbs. They should be firm and plump. Once bulbs are in, plant fall annuals. These can include pansies, calendulas, snapdragons, violas, annual stock, California poppies, African daisies, bachelor’s buttons, forget-me-nots, Lobelia, alyssum, and Iceland poppies.

Divide old irises and perennials such as candytuft, daylily, agapanthus, and coreopsis after blooming. Before replanting, amend the soil.

Sow wildflower seeds. Treat roses for powdery mildew. Test for spider mites by shaking the plant over a white sheet of paper. Spray, if needed, with a recommended product from a reputable nursery.

Lay sod or sow seed for new lawns. Bare patches on old turfs can be seeded or filled in with sod.

Deadhead only summer-blooming shrubs.

Feed perennials and annuals one last time. Apply pre-emergent herbicide to lawns. Apply aluminum sulfate to hydrangeas for blue blossoms next year.

Copyright © 2010 Dianne Marie Andre 

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Summer to Fall: making the garden transition

August 20, 2010

Since the weather has turned cold in the evenings and early mornings, vegetable yield and maturity has slowed down. The plants have lost their healthy charm and now look frail and tired with a dying-off appearance. A new season is coming.

As I reflect on this summer’s crop I review it with disappointment. The raised bed that my husband built appeared large, and it is for a raised bed (4 x 22 feet). However, after gardening in it for the first time, I find the space insufficient for what I wanted. The melons took up half the bed and the zucchini plant covered a 6 x 8-foot area. There wasn’t room to grow carrots, radishes, Brussels sprouts, herbs, mush melons, or a succession of fresh salad greens. No space for corn and not even an inch to plug in sweet potatoes for a November harvest. (They require fours months to mature.)

Although I was hoping for more crop variety, preserving again wasn’t part of the plan, just a modest array to feed two adults with a little excess to share. There’s plenty of ground to direct grow, but I prefer the raised-bed method, and right now, I have only one. For a short period, a surplus of zucchini filled the refrigerator trays. The zucchini and three wonderful watermelons, one cantaloupe, a few green beans, cherry tomatoes, and eggplants sum up this year’s summer harvest.

There were other problems to take into account for the modest yield:  Planting a month late, and an unusual weather pattern. The lettuce crop and a tomato plant were lost to insect and disease, cantaloupe to voles, and the cucumbers to overcrowding. If a pest hasn’t wiped out a vegetable plant, critters and disease will. The odds just seemed to be against my little veggie patch this year.

Next summer will be better. A new season is coming.

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