9 - 12 - 2011
Literally as we turned the calendar this month, Mother Nature and a cool front from Canada swept in over our plains and blessed us with the glorious weather we deserve after our record-setting, hotter than heck summer! What a difference 20 degrees make – it’s nearly chilly out in the mornings…but no one is complaining. Even the trees we thought had nearly died in the heat are putting on new fresh leaves…that’s due to the cooler night temps but mainly the cooler soil. We nearly baked everything alive this year…wow what a summer. Gardener’s are coming out of their air conditioned hiatus and gearing up for fall gardening – the very best time of the year to do nearly everything! Get these important chores done over the next two months and you will be rewarded with a beautiful Spring garden and a garden better prepared to survive our tough summer months.
Top Things to do in September
- Plan your spring garden now – it’s time to think planting pansies next month – tulips in November. How many pansies will you need – what color do you want to plant…better to go into the nursery with a plan vs. just picking up the first few flats you see. Color matters – look at the color of your home, and how you can best complement it. Check out my previous blog on the color wheel to refresh your memory on what colors work best with each other.
- Place your spring bulb orders now for best selection…more and more people are planting bulbs so the very best varieties go quickly. Remember – it is impossible to plant too many bulbs…do try and stage your bulbs so you have some blooming early to late in the spring….this will really make your Spring Garden last longer and you will be much happier with your investment and time in the bulbs.
- I have been ordering from www.colorblends.com for two years now and love that they do the pre-blending of colors and blooming period…I used to do this myself…never again! When I was in Holland earlier this year the Color blends buyer was there at the same time…someday we will see some of the new varieties they are growing – they are taller and bigger than ever!
- Still love www.vanengelen.com for specific varieties and to mix with my blends.
- Good time to begin replacing the dead shrubs / perennials in your garden…maintaining your garden design means replacing or editing your plantings when they fade away.
- I am over seeding my lawn this month – but you can safely do this through the end of October if we have warm weather. I’m doing it now because I lost too much fescue this summer due to issues with irrigation system, the extreme heat….and construction….
How I spent two weeks in August….escaped the heat and went to Africa! I am still in stimulus overload having visited Africa. What a continent – I felt completely ignorant nearly the second we landed…it is so much more than I expected. It is a spectacular place to live or visit. We ended our tour spending a few days in the gorgeous city of Cape Town, South Africa; maybe the most beautiful city I have ever seen. I had known that the most southern tip of Africa had its own floral kingdom – but seeing was believing.
This is one of my all time favorite plants – it grew nearly wild in Capetown – Kniphofia Red Hot Poker. I have never seen such massive tall clumps of these...I won’t even tell you how small the ones I grow are.
Bird of Paradise – This is the Mandela variety – this is a variety with the blue color! Only seen in Capetown?
The proteas grow like weeds…they are literally everywhere – and huge!
A typical hillside in Capetown.
Cape Town – I will see you again! Happy Gardening.
9 - 06 - 2012
It never ceases to amaze me how plants almost immediately react to cooler / less humid weather. They perk up almost overnight as night time temps get back into the 60’s instead of the 80‘s. A fresh pruning of your annual flowers and most perennials with a good drink of water, and milder temperatures make a big difference in how your plants will look.
The September “things to do” list is following a hot and dry summer in nearly every state. Watering your plants is the most important thing you can do to keep them alive and thriving. Knowing we may have a dry winter, it’s very important to continue to water through the fall months. My roses, perennials and even my trees have put on new fresh growth as the night time temperatures have cooled and I have continued to swelter away as provide them with necessary hydration.
Potting Shed envy – Guilty!
Top Things to do in September
• Peak planting and dividing time is upon us;
• Assess your garden areas - take notes of what worked and didn’t. Mark areas that would have been easier to maintain with groundcovers or different shrubs.
• Be sure to water trees and shrubs now through hard frost, so that they enter dormancy in a well-hydrated state. Evergreens are particularly vulnerable to desiccation and winter burn if not well watered before the cold and winds set in.
• Stop feeding woody plants.
• Be on the lookout for dead, damaged, or diseased wood in trees and shrubs and remove those limbs, this is also a good time to remove suckers and water sprouts. No more hard pruning until later in the year…don’t want to risk encouraging regrowth.
• Take a break from daily container watering!
• Turn back the sprinkler a few notches….a little less water is okay now.
• Do some garden clean-up – make your garden look like July and August were not that hot!
• Continue to support your roses and climbing vines.
• If you are a true gardener – you have already scouted out the nurseries for some new provisions….it’s a great time to replace casualties of the summer weather / and long vacations away from your garden.
• Enjoy the hummingbirds and butterflies - your garden should be a swarming with them.
• Place your tulip and spring bulb order for best selection – please don’t procrastinate – early bird gets the worm!
Cutting back Purple Cone flower in July provides for new flowers in September. Don’t forget to spread the seeds in these seed heads – hundreds of seeds in every flower. Just toss them into the soil below.
Purple Angelonia has bloomed all summer – I cut it back last month and it’s putting on fresh new flowers.
My favorite climbing rose – Abraham Darby – blooming again after rains and cooler weather. More blossoms to come through December as the weather cools down – what a treat to have repeat bloomers in the garden.
A beautiful example of crepe myrtles that have been pruned properly – they have bloomed since early June.
Happy Gardening - Terry