The September Garden Report

The September Garden Report
Like spring, fall is a time of rebirth. As the temperatures become somewhat cooler, we feel like spending more time outdoors in the garden.

Fall is the ideal time for planting in many areas of the country. This needs to be done early enough for the plants to become established before winter arrives. Local garden centers and nurseries should have an ample supply of plants available for the new gardening season. If not, you may need to order from a mail-order nursery. Some mail-order companies will ship bareroot plants in the fall.

Get a head start on that spring garden now by planting fall bulbs. Begin by checking out the ones in local garden centers. Tulips continue to be a favorite bulb. So many kinds are available.

Make it easy on yourself. Learn everything you need to know about the beloved tulip from “{Tulip}” by a dynamic duo, the highly acclaimed garden writer Theodore James, Jr. and award-winning photographer Harry Haralambou. They’ve published over ten books on gardening. This comprehensive title released by Harry N. Abrams, provides detailed information on the best varieties, and on how to grow and use them in the landscape. The chapter on selecting tulips is organized by bloom time into three categories--early, mid-season and late. For each category of tulips, such as the single early ones, there is a handy table listing the best varieties and a brief description of each. In addition, there is an engrossing chapter on the history of this much-loved plant. This no-nonsense guide contains all you’ll ever need to know about these wonderful bulbs. There is even a chapter on forcing tulips into bloom and how to use them as cut flowers.

Fall brings a new gardening season. For the best-looking fall garden, choose ones with colorful autumn foliage, fruits, and pods. Extend the garden season by including some late-blooming shrubs, such as clethra, also known as sweet pepperbush. The chaste tree, which is hardy to about zone 7, usually blooms until frost. Despite the name, it is really a shrub.

Russian sage also continues to bloom until a hard freeze. This plant assumes the form of a shrub, but is really an herbaceous perennial. I cut it back to the ground every spring before the new growth begins.

Many hydrangeas continue to bloom in late summer and fall. Even after the blooms fade, the dry, papery petals should still be very attractive.

With careful planning, our landscapes can look beautiful from September through the fall months.

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This content was written by Connie Krochmal. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Connie Krochmal for details.