Petals from the Past

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Monthly Garden Gossip,

October, 2018

Welcome to our garden! We're proud of our hard work and want to share the reward with you, so here is what's going on in the garden this month..Central Alabama

Pansies

Pansies and snapdragons are here. These popular plants do well in the cool winter months. They should be planted now through mid October so they will have a chance to root in before very cold weather arrives. Pansies do best when the night temperatures are below 65 degrees. Plant them in well drained soil. They do not like to be in constantly wet conditions. Work in some organic matter, well rotted leaves or compost. Pansies grow best in full sun but will tolerate light shade. Blood meal is a good organic fertilizer for pansies but if you have a dog it will drive him crazy. A water soluble fertilizer is also excellent for pansies.

Pansies are not affected by diseases or insects. However slugs do love to eat them. You can either set out some slug bait or sprinkle some diatomaceoous earth around your plants.

Pansies and violas come in many colors. Some with faces and some solid colors.

pansies

They can withstand temperatures in the single digits and freeze solid and then bounce right back with blooms when the weather warms. Take a look at the violas too. While the flowers are smaller they bloom prolifically and really put on a show.

snapdragons

Snapdragons

Snapdragons should also be fall planted here in the south. If the plant has a flower, break off the flower before you plant.

This causes the plant to side branch creating a much fuller plant with lots of blooms. They come in almost every color but blue. There are tall varieties like Rocket that are 2 to 3 feet tall and dwarf ones that are only 4 to 9 inches.

Snapdragons do their best when planted in full sun but can tolerate some light shade speciallly in the afternoon. Fertilize about every six weeks with an all purpose fertilizer.

Just a note all parts of the snapdragon plant are considered safe for dogs, cats and horses. While they are considered safe for humans you wouldn't want to be using them to make a tea or for herbal medicine.

Container Plants

Aronia

All our new container plants are here and fall is a good time to plant. We have several new ones that deserve a look at. The first is Low Scape Mound Aronia. A low growing decidious ground cover shrub that has white flowers in the spring and brilliant red fall color with dark purple fruit. This native shrub is hardy in cold climates as well and hot ones and will grow in full sun to part shade. It's mounding habit, 18 to 24" tall make it a good choice as a container plant, edging plant or ground cover.

Aronia

Aronia

Double Play Candy Corn Spirea

The new foliage on this decidious shrub appears candy apple red in spring. As it matures it will turn pineapple yellow and the new growth continues to emerge bright orange all season. In late spring to early summer dark purple flowers appear. This plant blooms on new wood. Giving it a trim after the flowers fade encourages more colorful foilage.

Plant in full sun to part sun. Height is 18 to 24 inches. A good border plant, edging plant or specimen.

Candyn Corn Spirea

Double Play Candy Corn Spriea

Florida Sunshine Anise

Florida Sunshine Anise is an evergreen shrub that slowly reaches a height of 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Plant in partial shade where the glossy chartreuse foliage really stands out.

Water regularly to maintain an evenly moist soil.

This a good plant for a partially shaded border, hedge or very wet areas.

Sunshine Anise

Florida Sunshine Anise

Iris

Iris Rhizomes

Iris rhizomes are here also. Shelley has bought many of the iris that rebloom. Look for those as you check out the iris rhizhomes. You can still divide any over crowded iris in your perennial border. Dig the iris and discard any damaged parts. Cut the leaves into a fan shape and water about twice a week. Don't plant the rhizomes to deeply since they do need the sun. Fertitlze in early spring with bone meal or a low nitrogen fertilizer such as 6-10-10 and fertilize again after bloom.

Don't let all those fall leaves so to waste. Till them into your garden or put them in your compost pile.

Fall Vegetable Garden

There is a great selection of lettuce plants, kale, Swiss chard and many other vegetables that can be fall planted. It is not to late to sow seed. Lettuces can be direct seeded into the garden but try to sow seed for lettuce about every 10 days to lengthen your harvest. It is best to direct seed beets and carrots as well as turnips for turnip greens. All our 2019 seeds are in and available for sale. Don't forget about spinach.

Fall is is good time to add to the herb garden too. Parsley grows well in the cooler months and stays green all winter.

Swiss Chard

Remember to rotate your crops to a new location.  This helps prevent the build up of pathogens and pests when one species is grown continually in the same area.

bulbs

Bulbs

All the fall bulbs are now here. Paperwhite Narcissus, many types of daffodils, crocus and tulips. We have the specie tulips, often called botanical tulips, which do very well in the south. They will multiply and return year after year. The flowers on them are a little smaller but still very pleasing to the eye and sometimes fragrant. Clusiana Lady Jane and Cluisiana Chrysantha are two that we have in stock.

Wildflower Garden

The 2019 wildflower seed are here. October through January is the time to sow these seeds. Many of these seeds require the cold weather to germinate. Sow the seed using 4 parts sand and 1 part seed. This helps disperse the seed so that you won't get clumps of plants in one place and none in another. Prepare the bed by lightly tilling or raking the area then throwing out the seed. Water! When sping arrives you will have a marvelous display. The seeds are sold by the tablespoon or teaspoon depending on the size of the seed for $1.00

Larkspur and Poppies

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