October 2015 Edition
Everything looks and feels better
It’s here! The very best month of the year has finally arrived. Everything looks and feels better. Now we can GO. It is a green light for gardening. Nursery stock is plentiful.
Rule number one:
Do your homework. Plant permanent additions to the landscape that have enough room to grow to their natural shape without a fight. Unnecessary pruning to keep a plant smaller wastes water, time and energy and never lets the plant grow or bloom properly.
Rule number two:
Buy small. Plants with smaller root systems suffer less transplant shock and adapt to the new environment better than larger sizes. Shop around and save money. Purchase only healthy looking specimens.
Rule number three:
Group plants together that share the same watering requirements, sun exposure and soil conditions. If the plant needs good drainage, such as lavender and rosemary, install on top of soil mounds within the planting area.
Cool Season Vegetables
Pull up the last remains of the summer vegetables and flowers. Now is the time to plant cool-season flowers and vegetables for winter and spring. One word of caution, be careful to buy only the winter varieties at the nursery. Sometimes the summer flowers and vegetables are still out.
October is the ideal month to plant glorious wildflowers. The winter rains should take care of most of the watering needs. Select an area that receives six to eight hours of full sun. Lightly rake the soil to a depth of only 1 inch. Spread the wildflower seeds blended with four parts sand or soil to one part seeds for a more even coverage. Cover seeds with a layer of soil no more than 1/16” deep. Keep soil moist for 4 to 6 weeks. Reduce the water frequency gradually once the seedlings grow 1 to 2 inches tall. Protect the seeds and seedlings from birds by spreading garden netting over the area supported by stakes and weighted down with rocks or wire staples. The beauty of native wildflowers is that they will naturally reseed themselves year after year in most cases.
Seasonal foliage color adds charm to any garden. Purchase the plants that show the most pleasing color at this time of year. Among the most commonly planted are the Sweet Gum (Liquidambar), Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba), Crape myrtle
(Lagerstroemia indica), Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), and my all time favorite, Chinese pistache (Pistacia chinensis).
Fall flowering trees and vines are also something to consider for the garden. You will notice the Hong Kong orchid tree (Bauhinia x blakeana), Floss silk tree (Chorisia
speciosa), Flamegold tree (Koelreuteria elegans) and Goldenrain tree (Koelreuteria
paniculata), which has lovely seed capsules that hang on for a long period of time. Two colorful vines are the Cup-of-gold vine (Solandra maxima) and the Flame vine
Purchase only the best and plumpest bulbs. They will perform better than the slim ones. Plant daffodils and Dutch iris once the soil and air temperatures cool off. It is best to wait until next month to plant anemones and ranunculus. Store them in a dry, cool area such as the garage. Refrigerate hyacinth, tulip and crocus bulbs in the lettuce drawer for six to eight weeks before planting in December.
contact Marilyn’s Garden Design.