Thursday, September 19, 2019

Your Fall TO-DO List

TO-DO List

When October rolls around and we have finally shaken the relentless heat of the summer, it often sparks a bit of gardening desire back to life.  Now is the perfect time to set our sights on spring and get prepared.
If you are like millions of others, by now you are ready for some dirt therapy. If you have been looking at those trees and shrubs at your local nursery or garden center but the heat just laughed in your face, you may want to go look again. Trees and shrubs are longing to be taken home and cared for by people just like you.
We have compiled a short list of things to do in the fall:
1. Plant trees and shrubs that you have planned for all year. You will still need to be diligent about water while the roots get acclimated to their new home. Perennials may also be planted.
2. Plant those bulbs! It is the perfect time to get those bulbs into the ground. spring bloomers such as hyacinths, tulips, garlic, crocus, anything that blooms in the spring should go into the ground now so that you get your blooms when you want them.
3. Any cold weather crops that you have started will need to go into the ground if they haven't already. Leafy greens and lettuces will thrive in the cooler temperatures. Their crunch will be sweeter. Enjoy the lettuce and spinach that you planted in September.
4. Clearing out your raised beds from summer is a good chore to get done when the cooler weather sets in.
5. If you are not using your garden spot for cold crops you may want to consider using this time to turn the soil and rid the area of any unwanted plant life. i.e; weeds. Turning compost in with your soil will add back some nutrients for next years garden and make the soil more manageable.
If you have all your chores done and you are not sure what comes next, you could do some light pruning or eradicate the few weeds that insist on sticking around, or you could just sit back and enjoy the season.
Kick back on your porch with some warm apple cider and just admire all of the work that God puts into the beauty that surrounds us.

for a short video about the proper way to plant a tree visit;

Time For Pansies

 It is time for those beautiful faces of fall! Pansies and violas have been a staple for the flower lover's fall garden for ages. With their little faces beaming in the cooler temps of the fall, and even through the winter, they are sure to brighten up a dreary day when all the world is cloaked in browns and grays. Each variety of pansy has its very own personality- from the faces that laugh, to the faces that are grumpy, there is no shortage of emotions.
Pansies and violas are not the same. However, most people refer to them all as simply, pansies. For the sake of this article, we will too. Since their requirements and their growth habits are almost identical we will cut the confusion and refer to them collectively as pansies.
  It is a known fact that pansies and violas don't thrive in hot weather, so sometimes getting them started may be a bit slow as the temperatures are still very warm in the early part of the fall. There hasn't been much success, as of yet,  in producing a heat-tolerant pansy so most gardeners treat the pansy as a winter annual as they really tend to get very leggy in the heat of the summer.
Pansies can be a bit temperamental when starting from seed. It is best to buy established plants from your local garden center or plant nursery. This will give them a better chance of surviving the last days of heat from the summer, and you
will see blooms a lot sooner.
Pansies need damp but well-drained soil. After they are established they can tolerate mild drought conditions for short periods of time. Your pansies will thrive in full sun, at at least a half day of sun.
When the winter temperatures arrive, you will find that your pansies are quite tolerant of frost and even single digit temps. The blooms may darken or wilt after freezing but will produce more blooms and bounce back quite well. They have even been seen peeking through a light dusting of snow.
  When pansies get established and begin to thrive they will mound to about 9 to 12 inches across and 6 to 9 inches tall. They are a great addition to the edge of your potted evergreens or just in a pot alone as their colors are so bright and cheerful.They make any space a happy space.
  Remember to water your pansies regularly, even in winter. the ground is never frozen for long around here. While they will tolerate some dryer conditions for short periods of time you will see them thrive if they are not allowed to stay dry for too long. A slow-release fertilizer is recommended to help your pansies grow but you want to stay away from fertilizers with a high nitrogen content as this may hamper the bloom production and you will end up with more foliage than blooms. We recommend adding the timed release fertilizer when planting and again in the early spring. If you  pinch off the faded blooms, this will encourage the plant to produce more blooms and it will help to prolong the blooming season.
 Pansies will survive the winter and will begin to thrive again in the early spring until the temps get too hot. So if you plant pansies for fall you can enjoy them through the following spring which will cut down on your spring planting chores.
  You can create some beautiful yardscapes for fall using pansies and pumpkins sitting among corn stalks or straw bales and fall mums and gourds. Or if you are hosting Thanksgiving at your house you can snip a few blooms to add to florist foam or a short vase to bring some of those colorful smiling faces to your gathering. Pansy blooms are edible! You can add them as a beautiful garnish to your fall dishes or you can dress up a cake or apple pie. Their beauty is full of endless possibilities.
 When you look out your window and see the upturned faces in your pansy garden or pots, it is sure to make you smile. Sometimes you just need some color in the middle of a dull, dreary fall and winter setting. Pansies- the flower that smiles back!


Check out this beautiful collection of pansy photographs and some insight into their quirky personality.
By: Scott D. Appell

Wednesday, September 18, 2019


The Therapist is in
Many of us dread the chore of weeding in our gardens, with good reason. But there is definitely some therapeutic value to being among the plants and flowers. The summer heat may keep you from getting too involved, but as the evening cools the air a bit, you should grab a stool and a bucket. Plop down right in the middle of the garden and begin pulling the nasty little weeds that have tried to overtake your precious plantings. As you begin, it may seem that the chore will never end. However, I assure you that with every pull you are one step closer to a beautiful garden. Take notice of all the pollinators and the tiny bugs that are beneficial in many ways. This is also a perfect time to take note of any bugs that may be doing harm to your beloved plants and take action accordingly.
 As you pull weeds from the soil, look at the soil and be able to diagnose issues before they affect your garden.
Beyond all of the possible problems, it is important to take time to just appreciate your blooms or vegetables and look around at the beauty of every living thing, even if that means a weed or two. We must admit that some weeds are quite lovely in their own right, but we don't want them mingled among our planted posies. So, here is where the work starts.

We become more than gardeners- we become groundskeepers, horticultural manicurists, landscapers, and plant doctors. Deadhead spent flower blooms as you weed. As we examine our soil for pests and fungus problems, we search the blooms and foliage for problems that may threaten the well being of our plants, being very careful not to pull our plants out of their nests when we pull out the nearby weeds.
As we sit among the inhabitants of our garden space, we are often lost in thought, but how many of us are thinking about anything too stressful? That's just it, we aren't. If we go to the garden in a negative state of mind, you can rest assured that we will not leave that way.
Weeding is therapy! The plants are our therapists. Quite cheap therapy sessions, also, I might add.

If you find yourself dreading the task, just take it a little at a time. You don't have to do it all in one day and you don't have to meet any deadlines. Just allow yourself some one on one time with your garden and when you finally get the weeds gone, I am sure it will thank you with ongoing beauty. Lose yourself in the perfection of a flower's petals. Get swept away by the scent that lingers in the air or the butterfly wings as they silently travel through. Or, if you are like me, you can revel at the enormous sound generated from a tiny bee.
No matter how you look at it, if you love your garden, you won't mind pulling weeds. If you love nature, you won't mind being in it. If you love all that the day has to offer in life, you won't mind enjoying the moments that you spend in your garden, even if it is spent pulling weeds.