Fall is for PLANTING!

Fall is for PLANTING!

NOW is the best time to plant trees, shrubs and vines.  Winter is the second best – so get to digging!

Summer’s heat is over, the soil is still warm – actually warmer than in the spring – and the soaking rains of winter will soon arrive.  This means deep root growth will occur quickly on shrubs and trees planted in the cooler months of the year.

Why is deep root growth important? 

Roots gather nutrients and water for plants and trees, so the better the root system the more nutrients and water the plant receives – thus appearing lusher and healthier.   Plants planted now get a head start since they are able to concentrate their energy mostly on root growth during the cooler months.

Healthier plants are the result of planting in the fall.

The same plant planted in spring gets a slower start due to spending energy on both root growth, foliage and flower growth. Also, the cool weather planted plants are better established when summer arrives and can better deal with the heat, largely due to the well-established root system.

Fall Container Ideas

Fall Container Ideas

Fall is an excellent time to show off your seasonal favorites like mums, pansies, violas, and flowering kale or cabbage. Play with colorful and dynamic combos of perennials, annuals and grasses to create stunning containers.

Photo Credit: Southern Living
Photo Credit: Southern Living

Use solid colored Pansies in orange and velvety black to make the perfect Hallow’s Eve arrangement. Place in a black or silver container for a super spooky addition to your front porch Jack O’Lanterns.

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Use a variety of colorful Pansies as a filler against an evergreen, like an Arborvitae or a Blue Point Juniper, with a classical ivy, like English Ivy for a formal arrangement.

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Use different varieties of Dianthus to create a full container – pair with a neutral pot to really show off the bold colors.

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Make a MUM-KIN! Cut out the top of a pumpkin and plant your favorite fall Mum. Use orange or yellow for a consistent color scheme or add pink or purple for a deep contrast against the orange of your pumpkin!

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Strawberry Jar Planters can be used in more ways than one! Plant Violas in different shades for an incredible ‘spill’ effect.

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Create a sunny disposition, even in fall! Plant yellow Pansies (with and without a ‘face’) to create a trio of gold on your porch. Add a fountain grass for a ‘thriller’ to really draw attention!

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Have stairs leading up to your home? Create a stair-step quattro of planters with Violas. Use different style pots with the same variety of Violas to create a stunning look on your stairs!

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Have fun with Succulents in fall too! Just like our Mum-kin (pictured above) plant succulents in pumpkins and spray paint the pumpkins in neutral tones to make these desert gems stand out.

Don’t give up on Pansies!

Don’t give up on Pansies!

I’ve had several customers tell me they just haven’t had good luck with pansies.  After questioning them I discovered all of them had the same problem – the pansies were in poor draining soil.

Pansies don’t do well in soil that stays wet – in fact they like it on the dry side.  So, here’s some ideas on how to prevent this problem so you can enjoy beautiful blooming pansies throughout the winter months ahead.


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Don’t over water

Sounds simple, but we all have a tendency to just water the pots.  Check your pots prior to watering to make sure they are dry and need watering.  If your pansies are planted in the ground make sure they need watering.  Our plants don’t require as much watering as we have been giving them throughout the summer, so pull back on the amount you water as we go from Fall to Winter.

Reset your sprinkler system

If you haven’t reset your sprinkler system from the summer setting, now is the time to do so.  As the weather cools off our lawn and flower beds don’t require as much water as they do in the hotter summer months.  Set your sprinklers to water less frequently during the fall and winter.

Get your hands dirty or use a moisture meter 

We can look at the surface of a pot and tell if it looks dry, but how much moisture is down at the root zone.  The only way to tell is to either stick your finger in the dirt and see how wet it is or use a moisture meter that will instantly tell you if it is wet or dry.  Use one of these methods to determine if your pansies are in need of water.

Planting in poor draining areas

If the area does not drain well you can create a raised bed in which to plant, thus ensuring the  plants are planted above the wet area.  This can be achieved very easily by creating a mound or longer berm out of garden soil (not potting soil) and plant into this raised area.  Cover with mulch to match the rest of your bed and your poor draining area is solved.

Install drainage solutions into your landscape

You may have a drainage problem that needs a drainage solution such as a French drain or piping downspouts out of your flower beds.  Feel free to call our store with photos so we can try and give you the best method to resolve drainage issues.

Make sure your pots and planters drain well

Planting pansies in pots and planters around your home gives you winter color in a variety of areas.  Make sure that they have adequate drain holes in the bottom so excess water can drain out of the pot.  If the pot is sitting on a solid surface the drain holes may not be able to drain.  Place the pot on pot toes or small blocks of wood that enables the pot to be slightly raised from the surface it is sitting on so water is able to escape out the drain holes.  Also, use the finger test or moisture meter to test if the pot needs watering.

These are just a few of the ways you can turn a wet, poor draining situation into one that is dry enough for pansies and other plants to bloom beautifully. 
If you have questions about how to solve a specific problem please give us a call at (903) 753-2223.  You can text a pic to (903)-339-0922 and we can help determine a solution to a problem or answer your questions. 
Fall is for Planting!

Fall is for Planting!

Did you know that although Spring is the most popular time to plant shrubs and trees, fall is the best time to do so?
Summer’s heat is over, the soil is still warm – actually warmer than in the spring – and the soaking rains of winter will soon arrive.  This means deep root growth will occur quickly on shrubs and trees planted in the cooler months of the year.

Why is deep root growth important?

Roots gather nutrients and water for plants and trees, so the better the root system the more nutrients and water the plant receives – thus appearing lusher and healthier.   Plants planted now get a head start since they are able to concentrate their energy mostly on root growth during the cooler months.
Healthier plants are the result of planting in the fall.  The same plant planted in spring gets a slower start due to spending energy on both root growth, foliage and flower growth. Also, the cool weather planted plants are better established when summer arrives and can better deal with the heat, largely due to the well established root system.

Plant Cool Season Annuals

Now even though it is hard to pull up good looking summer annuals.  If you wait much longer the pansies and other winter annuals will not establish well enough to perform to their fullest.  So plant pansies, violas, snap dragons, stock, ornamental cabbage and kale so you will have a colorful winter landscape.

MumsGM_Chelsey_WhiteFP_large_webready

Whether planted in containers, or in the garden, Mums are fall-fabulous perennials! 
Here are some tips to help your Mums perform their best!

Location

Choose a spot that gets at least four to six hours of sun a day. Plants that don’t get enough sunlight will be tall and leggy and produce fewer, smaller flowers.

Soil preparation

Mums thrive in well-drained soil. Heavy clay soil should be amended. If the soil is too dense, add garden soil and prepare to a depth of 8-12 inches for best performance. Mums’ roots are shallow, and they don’t like competition. Plant mums no deeper than they were in the nursery pot, being careful with the roots as you spread them.

Watering 

Water newly planted mums thoroughly, and never let them wilt. After they are established, give mums about an inch of water per week. When bottom leaves look limp or start to turn brown, water more often.
Do not water from the top of the foliage. Water underneath it.

Overwintering

Prepare mums for winter after the first hard frost. Mulch up to 4 inches with straw or shredded mulch. Fill around the entire plant, spreading well between branches. Pinch off dead blooms to clean up the plant, but leave branches intact. Mums have a better chance of surviving if you wait to prune old stems until spring. As soon as the weather warms, pull away mulch to allow new shoots to pop up.

Pansies

nature flowers plant springThese little guys love the cold and can last all through winter and even well into spring! Get the most out of your pansies! 

Position

For good flowering, pansies need a sunny position and, at a minimum, they have sun for at least half the day. Pansies can get spindly and won’t flower well in full shade.

Watering

Pansies enjoy being moist but not sopping wet.

Feeding

Pansies are what some call “heavy eaters”. Bone or blood meal works wonders for these guys or give them a dose of Miracle Grow, or an all-purpose fertilizer, when watering.

Care

Remove faded/dead flowers at the base of the stem to prolong blooming and encourage more flowers to grow.

Taking these steps will help ensure your pansies perform their best!