This year the first day of autumn is September 23rd. With the arrival of fall (autumnal
equinox), gardeners can look forward to cooler temperatures, shorter daylight hours,
beautiful fall colors, and plenty of work to do in the garden.
September, is one of the best times to plant new lawns or repair established ones, plant
evergreen trees and shrubs, harvest fruits and vegetables, prepare new perennial beds, and
begin planting spring flowering bulbs.
October, is clean-up month in the garden. Cut off dead perennial stems and remove debris, pull
out frost blackened annuals, rake fallen leaves and add to compost pile, dig out tender summer-flowering
bulbs and continue planting trees, shrubs, roses and bulbs.
One of the most popular plants of the fall is the Chrysanthemum. This "golden
flower of the Orient" has its origins in China, but was bred and revered
throughout Japan. They were introduced to America, by way of Europe around 1798, and
became very popular for fall gardens.
Today there are a variety of shapes and colors available from the 13 reconigized forms
of mums which include: pompom, reflex, quill, spider, spoon and decorative. The standard
decorative form is the most popular.
They are often treated as annuals and used
as accent plants in pots and containers, for fall and holiday decoration displays, or
added to the garden for filling in empty areas and adding color.
If you live in any of the colder zones and planted tender summer-flowering bulbs this
year, remember that they will not survive outdoors over winter. They must be dug up
and stored either indoors or in a frost free location.
Some favorites among this group of bulbs include: caladiums, callas, cannas, dahlias, elephant ears,
gladiolas, ismenes, montbretias, tigridias, tuberose, tuberous begonias and zephyranthes
Most of these bulbs can be left in the ground until they are touched with frost,
blackening their foliage. Several such as: caladiums, cannas and elephant ears
are recommended to be dug out before your first frost.
Visualize your usual plant growing in soil, being watered by rain or hand-watered. Now
take away the dirt, the rocks, and the rain. Imagine the roots growing in just a sponge and
nothing else; and ...your plants couldn't be happier
Instead of having to push their way through hard soil in search of nutrients and
moisture, their roots grow easily through this sponge-like substance called rock wool,
soaked in a nutrient solution. The plants face no competing organisms, no roots from
other plants, no bugs, no bacteria and no toxins.
Growing with hydroponics is possible almost anywhere. Todays compact systems work
well in any room and allow indoor growing all year round for a wide variety of
plants, such as: tomatoes, herbs, and flowers.
The EzHydroKit, starting at $29.95, comes with everything you need to start growing
your own hydroponic plants at home. For more info:
Dicentra spectabilis - Bleeding Heart
garden favorite with rosy red flowers resembling 'a bleeding heart',
2-3 feet tall.
Dicentra eximia - Fringed Bleeding Heart
finely cut foliage with pink to reddish purple flowers, 1-2 feet tall.
Dicentra cucullaria - Dutchman's Breeches
native wildflower with white nodding flowers, 8-12 inches tall.
Dicentra canadensis - Squirrel Corn
purple tinged, greenish white, heart-shaped flowers, 8-12 inches tall.
Dicentra chrysantha - Golden Eardrops
sulphur yellow flowers on high stems, up to 5 feet tall.
Dicentra formosa - Western Bleeding Heart
dissected foliage with pink to deep rose flowers, 1-1½ feet tall.