September 28, 2011

Pollinator Plant Preferences - Say that three times fast!

Here is an excellent guide to pollinators and their preferred plants. Most of our flowers and much of our food are dependent on pollinators. Honeybees especially need help since they are vanishing. It is interesting to see what colors and shapes different pollinators prefer.

September 9, 2011

Fall Gardening Tips And To Dos

Fall is a great time to plant perennials, trees, and shrubs.  The air is cooler but the soil is still warm which invites root growth.  Do remember to water the plants though.  Even though temps may have fallen, roots still need help getting established.

Plant and divide spring and summer blooming perennials now.  Over the winter, newly planted or transplanted perennials will put their energy in to below ground growth, resulting in an improved root structure over those planted next spring.

Mulch before the ground freezes.  This helps avoid shallow-rooted plants heaving out of the ground during frost and thaw cycles.  This is especially important for newly planted perennials with shallow roots such as Heucheras. The mulch should go up to the plant but not touch stems or trunks. 

Organic mulch will break down over winter, improving your soil structure and fertility.  Shredded leaves can be used as a free mulch.  Passive soil amending rocks!

You can cut back perennials in the fall or do it in spring instead.  The latter cuts down on work and leaves some structure in the garden over winter. 

Do cut back any unhealthy plants and remove diseased leaves that have fallen.  This discourages soil-borne diseases.

Pruning summer and fall blooming trees and shrubs now is fine, or wait until leaves fall to see the structure better.  Do not prune spring flowering woodies or you will cut off your buds for next year.

Roses are best pruned in spring, not fall.  You can protect them with thick mulch or soil, and in this case pile it over the root ball.  Don't fertilize after September.