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Garden Gossip

October, 2021

Fall Planting

Fall is an excellent time to plant trees and shrubs as well as perennials. The cooler temperatures and more abundant rainfall helps to develop a stronger root system and gives a jump start on spring. Plant your trees and shrubs in a hole twice as wide as the container and only as deep as the plant was in the container. It is always good to add a little compost or Black Kow to mix with the existing soil. Remember to water in your plant to remove all air pockets. If there is no rain for awhile you will have to water.

Don’t forget about the vegetable garden. The fall garden is actually my favorite. You can grow kale, Swiss chard, broccoli as well as many other vegetables that can be planted in the fall. 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.

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.


Tillandsia also known as air plants are epiphytic, meaning that they live by absorbing water and moisture through their leaves rather than from soil. Tillandsia are native to Central America where they grow on trees using its small roots to anchor itself on a branch. Because of this aerial lifestyle they should not be planted in ordinary potting mix which will cause its roots to rot. They may be tied to untreated wood or wired on a twig. There are stands made especially for them too!

To care for your plant, keep it in an area of bright light with good air circulation. Watering your plant is easy. You can spray it with water a couple of times a week, you may place them in a sink and run water over them or submerge them for an hour or so. Turn them upside down to drain excess water. Make sure they dry out fully so that they will not rot.

Once a month spray the leaves or put in the dunking water a Bromeliad fertilizer. Tillys are happy in a wide range of temperatures from the 50s to the 90s.


It’s pansy time! I love them all. We already have some at the nursery but there is more coming about the first week of October. Pansies do well in the cool winter months. When planted in autumn they will last until April or May.

Plant them in full sun to part shade. Apply a mild fertilizer when planting and about every four to 5 weeks in spring. 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. They have few pest problems but slugs and snails love them so you may have to control them from time to time.

Pansies and violas come in many colors. Some with faces and some solid colors. They can withstand temperatures in the single digits and freeze solid then bounce right back with blooms when the weather warms.


Many of our fall planted bulbs are here now. Thalia, double flowered Daffodil Tahiti and many others. There are more on the way too.

Plant your bulbs, pointy side up, as soon as you can so they can get rooted in. Plant them in full sun to part shade in well drained soil.

Daffodils are not fertilizer dependent. You can fertilize lightly in the fall and right after blooming with a low-nitrogen fertilizer.

Paperwhite Narcissus are lovely to have around during the holiday season. They need no chilling to bloom. They will grow in either soil or rocks and water. Be sure to give them lots of strong light or they will become leggy.

Plants for Fall and Winter Containers

Of course pansies and snapdragons are good choices for containers but why not think of a few others.

Flowering cabbage and flowering kale make an excellent choice for containers as well lettuce. Parsley is evergreen! The Cool Wave trailing pansies would be fabulous spilling over the side too.

Salvia Madrensis

Looking for a little fall color?? Why not try this bold plant, Salvia Madrensis often referred to as forsythia sage. A plant for the back of the border, it grows from 4 to 7 feet tall. Underground rhizomes form with maturity allowing for a nice clumping habit.

This fall blooming deciduous plant will put on an amazing show in late September and October.

Frost Protection

Don’t let a frost sneak up on you! Make sure that your garden hoses are all drained and your irrigation pipes winterized. Now is the time to check out the condition of your winter cloth. If it is getting a little tattered this would be the time to replace it. We use this cloth in our nursery to cover the citrus trees but you can also use it in the vegetable garden or for any plant you wish to protect from freezing. I cover my vegetable garden and have fresh lettuce most of the winter. This cloth comes in 15 foot and 30 foot widths. We custom cut pieces for you to any length.