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Fall is a great time for planting in the garden


October 5, 2016 | View PDF

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Ornamental grasses and pansies are great to put into your containers for fall and winter color.

While spring may be the busiest time for local gardeners, there is also a variety of things for them to do in the fall.

"The biggest things in the fall for gardeners are planting spring-blooming bulbs, refreshing your containers, and doing fall cleanup," said Chris Hinricksen, of Co-Op Supply and Nursery in Marysville.

When it comes to planting bulbs in the fall, tulip, daffodil, hyacinth, crocus and allium are the most common.

"You can plant bulbs from the first part of October through the end of November," said Hinricksen. "But, if you didn't get around to it, you can even plant them as late as December, they'll just come up a little bit later."

If you want to add color to your garden but don't want to wait until the bulbs bloom in the spring, there are a variety of plants that can be added to your garden in the fall.

"There are a lot of shrubs that can go in now to add color to your garden. Burning Bush is one of the most popular in our area, as well as Nandina," said Hinricksen.

"Spiraea, which is a spring bloomer, has gorgeous fall color on the foliage," said Hinricksen. "Another is Shrub Dogwoods. They not only have great fall color, but in the winter they lose their leaves and the stems of the shrubs are colored, so there are red ones, orange ones and yellow ones, so it gives you winter colors as well as fall colors."

Hinricksen said that another beautiful plant is the Leucothoe, which is an evergreen shrub that has foliage that turns beautiful shades of red and burgundy with the cooler winter temperatures.

Another good thing to plant in the fall is blueberries. "The foliage has good fall color, and then you'll have all winter for them to establish before they produce fruit for you next year," said Hinricksen.

This is also the time of year when the summer plants in your containers can be replaced.

"There is also a category of shrubs and perennials that come in smaller sizes that are great to refresh your containers. People like to keep their containers looking beautiful, and for the fall and winter there are a lot of things that can go in them," said Hinricksen. "Some very good choices include ornamental cabbage and kale, as well as Heuheras which come in a wide range of colors."

Another option for containers is ornamental grasses. "There are a lot of different varieties that will be beautiful all winter long. They are perennial so you can put them in your container for the winter, and then after a year or two when they get too big you can move them into the garden."

Hinricksen also suggested Euphorbia. "They are also a very hardy perennial and come in a lot of different varieties that have different colored foliage. They bloom in the spring, but make a nice container plant that can also be moved to the garden when they get too big for the container."

Hinricksen said that Euronymus, which is also an evergreen, is a low-growing shrub that offers really good fall and winter color.

"And probably the best one for people who like flowers is the winter pansies and violas which actually like the cooler temperatures and will bloom all winter long," said Hinricksen.

In addition to planting and refreshing your containers, gardeners should also do a fall cleanup.

"Doing a thorough fall cleanup is really important," said Hinricksen. "It's also important to mulch. Compost is really the best thing to use for mulch that will help protect the root system through the winter as well keep the weeds under control."


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