Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Nov. 30, 2022

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Gardening with Allen: Still time to plant many things

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I intended to do more landscape improvements this spring and summer. Is it too late for me to plant anything?

Although there is not much selection in the fall at big-box stores, full-service nurseries and garden stores have a full selection of plants now. Planting container plants now will be just as good as in spring, as long as you water the new plants frequently until they have established their roots.

Large selections of perennial flowers, ornamental grasses, ground covers, hostas, hydrangeas, shrub roses, camellias, dwarf crape myrtle, dahlias, heuchera and herb plants are available. On a recent visit to a garden store, I found a larger selection of blooming hydrangeas than at any time of year. There were large tree-form varieties in full bloom, hydrangeas with pointed white panicle flowers that turn deep pink, varieties that are repeat blooming.

Lagerstromia or crape myrtle is normally a small tree that blooms in late summer. There was a selection of dwarf shrub varieties in lavender, red, pink and other colors, many budded and in bloom, ranging in mature height from 3 to 10 feet.

Also available are shrub roses in bloom that are resistant to diseases such as black spot and do not need repeated spraying. Ornamental grasses provide a low-maintenance way to add a lot of beauty to the landscape. This is the time when you can see ornamental grasses at full size and bloom so you can select just the right ones for your needs.

Dahlias and other plants in bud and bloom will provide instant color to the landscape. Now is a great time to plant chrysanthemums and fall asters to add color clear into the fall. Heuchera grows in shady areas and maintains its colorful leaves through most of the winter.

During hot weather, newly planted plants need daily watering for the first week and twice-weekly watering for the first month. Apply enough water so it reaches the full depth of the root system.

Rapidly maturing vegetables such as green onions, spinach, lettuce, radish, beets, kale and collards can be planted now for harvest in September and October. All of these are hardy to winter temperatures and can be planted in September for harvest early next spring. Turnip and carrot seeds can be planted now for late-fall or winter harvest. Fall is the right time to plant garlic.

I have found it helpful to cover seeds with vermiculite, peat moss or bark dust when planting during hot weather. The mulch keeps the soil from crusting and holds additional moisture near the germinating seeds. Seeds should be watered every day for the first two weeks.

Territorial Seed Company has a catalog especially for fall and winter vegetables. You can view the catalog online or have a printed copy sent to you from territorialseed.com.

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