FALL IS THE PERFECT TIME FOR PLANTING. The generally cooler weather and overcast days provide ideal conditions for planting flowers, vegetables, shrubs and trees. The ground is still warm enough to receive and protect the roots and the transplants will suffer less stress from heat and water loss. Don’t wait for warm sunny days to work in your garden! Cool and overcast is perfect planting weather.
Winter gardens have a beauty all their own and November is the time to set the stage in your garden for a grand show of dazzling flowers from winter through spring. Cool-season annual flowers planted in fall have time to develop a healthy root system before flowering in winter and spring, and because they start blooming earlier than comparable
plants set out in spring they bloom over a longer period. So prepare your planting beds, and make a shopping list.
If you are sowing seed of plants such as forget-me-nots, nasturtiums or sweet peas directly in garden beds, do it right away. The seeds will use the heat and rainfall of autumn to germinate and seedlings will come along just as the temperatures begin to cool. Growth may slow down as the weather gets cooler but once the days start getting noticeably longer in January the plants will grow quickly and start to bloom.
Certain flowers thrive in cool weather. Plant fall annuals such as pansies, violas, primrose, poppies, snapdragons, and calendula so they will be in full fall and winter bloom. Plant some red or white cyclamen now so that they will be in full bloom by Christmas.
If you have not already done so, prune Iceberg roses and they will bloom in time for your holiday dinner table arrangements
Improving the soil: While pulling up old plants and before planting new ones, take the opportunity to reinvigorate the soil by adding organic fertilizers and compost. Improving the soil is an ongoing job in the garden and each time a space is available in your flower bed or vegetable patch add some fertilizer before re-planting. This is especially true of vegetable gardens, as
vegetables are heavy feeders and take a lot of nourishment from the soil. We recommend Dr. Earth’s range of organic fertilizers or Gro-Power humus-based fertilizer and soil conditioner. The crème de la crème of soil conditioners is worm castings. Although this product is fairly expensive you will certainly notice the difference in the health and growth of your plants if you add it to the soil before planting, or top dress the soil each winter.
Keep Lawns Healthy: Rake falling leaves from lawns as leaves could impede lawn growth. If a lawn is looking "tired," sow in annual rye seeds to cover brown spots and to introduce new growth. After seeding, scatter a light covering of soil
amendment and water thoroughly.
Winter Vegetable Garden: You can enjoy fresh vegetables even during winter months by planting or sowing hearty cool-season vegetables including beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, carrots, chard, cauliflower, collards, all types of kale, lettuce, onions, spinach, turnips and rutabaga. Also plant fall herbs such as arugula, parsley, cilantro, oregano, and garlic.
Plant Trees Now: Fall is the ideal time to plant trees. Our fall climate, with cool nights, mild days and moderate rainfall, gives trees a strong beginning that will serve them well when growing season begins in spring. Just about every tree type can benefit when planted in fall. The key to success is to select a planting location that is best suited for the tree type. Take into account the tree's rate of growth, root configuration, leaf type (evergreen or deciduous), tree shape and ultimate height at maturity. Make sure the site you select has enough sun. Other issues: is the selected location on a slope where watering may be difficult? Is it near a walkway or patio where in a few years roots may cause a problem? Will the tree at maturity be too big for the site? Better to answer these questions now or you may find yourself trying to extract a tree and its roots when it outgrows its location.
Dormant Oil Spray for Fruit Trees: Dormant oils are horticultural oils used to control overwintering insects, such as aphids and mites that live in the bark of fruit trees. They are applied by pump sprayers or compressed air sprayers, usually after pruning in late winter to early spring. Dormant oil sprays treat specific problems and aren't all-purpose insecticides. Pests should be properly identified to make sure a spraying is warranted.
Dormant spraying for fruit trees can only be done in winter after the leaves have fallen, the tree is dormant, and you have correctly pruned the tree and cleaned it up. November - around Thanksgiving -
the First of the year and Valentine's Day are the best times to use dormant sprays.