Fall in our garden


(Photo: Bonni Nechemias/Courtesy photo) – http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/66df1623c0753c4be0c526255f68b1c4b5a3e2a3/c=0-0-2448-3264&r=537&c=0-0-534-712/local/-/media/2016/09/08/Poughkeepsie/B9323561689Z.1_20160908135149_000_GR4FH6BNF.1-0.jpg

Come fall, gardening season still in swing

Fall is not the end of our gardens for the year. We do not need to shut them down, put away our tools and forget them till next spring. Fall is a lovely time to enjoy your gardens. Blooms and foliage abound, as does a new crop of cold weather vegetables. The warm days and crisp nights make for a third season of gardening.

Planning for a fall garden does require some time, especially if you are not familiar with the bounty of fall blooming plants and vegetables. It’s easy, whatever you choose to grow. Top of my list is asters, which do not begin to bloom until September primarily. There are many varieties for zones 4 through 6 gardens, which covers the Hudson Valley region. Seeking out local nurseries for plant choices will assure you that the plants you choose will grow here.

Second on my list for fall blooms must be mums in all their glory. Many are available that are hardy and do require some care so they grow well. First off, any nursery-grown plant should be transplanted into the garden as soon as you can after bringing it home. Dig deep and amend the soil in the hole which is at least twice the size of the plant. Gently break up the roots and plant the same depth as the plant was growing in the pot. This will assure an easier transition. Water well, and keep watered during bloom.

Bulbs are my third choice, and yes, there are bulbs that bloom in the fall. Easy to grow fall crocus and colchicums, small lily-like blooms, are trusted choices. Even planted in August, these hardy bulbs will bloom in a few weeks after planting.

So the above mentioned plants and bulbs are three simple ways to keep the bloom going long after most summer flowers have faded. Annuals are another great way to fill in those dead spots where other plants have finished blooming. They will continue to bloom until frost while many will survive until hard frost and first snow.

Read the full story: Poughkeepsie Journal


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.