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From Head Gardener, Marjorie Currey


September marks the beginning of the second planting season.

It's true - fall is for planting!  The soil's still warm and that'll provide for faster root growth and give plants a bit of a head start.  By next summer, they'll have larger, more established root systems that allow for improved drought tolerance and better growth throughout the first year.

Shorter autumnal days and mild temperatures mean lower stress on new plants and the inevitable rains help keep those new plants watered which means less work for you (and maybe a few extra days leftover to enjoy the hammock).

Some of your summer annuals may be a bit tired looking or overgrown.  In some cases a trim and a bit of water-soluable fertilizer will get you a few more weeks of bloom.  Others should probably be discarded in favor of some new fall color.  This means those annuals and short-lived perennials that look great now through autumn often times continue into winter.  Pansies, kale, dusty miller, mums, asters, and black-eyed susans are all examples of this.  There are plenty more flowers to enjoy; the growing season isn't over yet.

Bulbs - It is finally that time again.  Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, alliums, crocus and many others are available for purchase starting in September.  While refreshing those flower beds and containers with some pansies or other fall color, add some spring flowering bulbs in there as an investment in next year's show.