The gardening season is far from over. Take advantage of sales to enhance your garden and get a jump on spring.
Late summer and early fall planting is ideal for trees and shrubs. I prefer it to spring planting. The advantage is that while the soil is still warm, the nights are cool. This allows roots to become established without stressful heat. When planting a tree or shrub, plant it at exactly ground level but then form a substantial moat of soil around the base. This allows you to keep the root ball moist. Continue to water throughout fall--even after the plant drops its leaves. Winter watering may also be necessary if dry conditions prevail.
Roses may also be planted now but don't delay. Roses have wimpy root systems that take time to establish. An extended fall will favor them. As with other shrubs, build that moat of soil around the base and keep watering as conditions warrant.
Perennials can also be planted or transplanted successfully. Mums and asters are emblematic of the season. Add them now and you can enjoy them next year and for many fall seasons to come. Once again, build a moat around the base of the plant. It will erode over time and won't be necessary by spring. Mums and asters are emblematic of the season. Mums are also popular porch and patio plants. Buy them when the buds are just opening so that you can enjoy and extended period of color.
Brighten your patio or front entrance with colorful cool season annuals. Fill in containers that may have lost some of their components. Use annuals that revel in cool night temperatures and that are also somewhat frost tolerant. Ornamental kale, pansies, black-eyed Susans, petunias, stock, snapdragons and dusty miller are all good choices to extend the season as long as possible. Ornamental peppers are also a great addition but they are not frost tolerant and must be covered or carried inside on chilly nights.
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