Fall’s Successful Plantings

Fall is the time that annual plants are starting to fade. However, you can still have a lovely blooming garden with hardy perennials.  Perennials are plants that live throughout the seasons, year after year.  Where you might have a burst of color with annuals, perennials will bloom at different times of the growing season.

Chrysanthemums are a recognizable perennial that is associated with fall, like the picture above.  They can grow in containers, as well as, a prepared garden spot.

Take the time to properly prepare the soil where you are planting your perennials.  The soil should be well watered.  Lift the plant from the container, keeping the root ball intact.  If the roots are extremely compacted, loosen them gently before planting.

Dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball.  Set the plant in place at the same level at which it was growing in the pot.  Firm the soil around the roots and water well.  An application of soluble fertilizer high in phosphorus will encourage the new plants root growth.  Keep an eye on the new plants and make sure they have adequate water to become established.

To help your newly planted perennials make it through the winter season, you can cover them with evergreen boughs as soon as the soil starts to freeze.

If you have a bed that you are keeping reserved for annuals in the spring, now is a good time to be aware of the first frost. After the frost has blackened the tops of the annuals remove them from the bed.

Removing the plants is really only an aesthetic action to make the beds look clean during the winter month.  If your up to it, turn the plants under in the fall.  Now they are a “green manure” enriching the soil for the next season.  Don’t wait until spring to do this though. The plants will dry out and not break down in easy decomposition. Plus you will have lost most of their nutrients.

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