Cool Weather Vegetables

To maximize our short growing season here in Michigan, it is best to plant cool weather vegetables in the spring (April) and the late summer (mid-August/September). Our biggest challenge in southwest Michigan is our temperature which moves quickly from very cold to very warm. There are many varieties of vegetables that prefer cool weather. Several of them–carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, produce their best flavor when they mature during the sunny days and cool nights. Prepare your soil; testing to …

Mums the word!

No doubt about it! Mums are the divas of the autumn garden. Mums can quickly and easily add beautiful fall colors to your home. Because of their tight, mounding habit and stunning bloom colors, garden mums are perfect for mass plantings. To get the maximum effect, stick to only one or two colors. You might also choose to arrange a gradual transition of related colors. It is best to look around your yard to see what colors would best complement the existing landscape and …

Linda Whitlock Fall Advice

We were fortunate enough to have Linda Whitlock join us the other day to lead a Quick Class.  She is a wealth of knowledge about plants and how to best take care of them in this area.  Linda works with the MSU Extension Service in Consumer Horticulture.  I took a lot of notes about everything from the lack of water and how it will effect the trees to why fall is a great time for planting and her suggestions.  It’s …

Put Your Fall Leaves To Work

The leaves of fall are one of nature’s most gorgeous gifts but I find that I appreciate them even more after they have fallen off the trees. Yes, I said after. While I don’t look forward to the work of cleaning up the leaves any more than you do, I have a very deep appreciation for what they will mean to my lawn and garden a few months from now.  Where most people see fallen leaves as hours of raking, …

Advantages of Fall Planting

Additional Color for Your Gardens and Great Root Growth We are often asked “What are the advantages of planting perennials and shrubs in the fall?” Fall is a great time to plant perennials and shrubs due to cooler temperatures which put less stress on the plant and enable root systems to grow faster and larger. When we plant in the spring, all plants, perennials, annuals, shrubs, etc. are pushed to get a healthy mass of roots established so they can …

Perennials for Fall Interest

Fall can be just as exciting as any other time in the growing season. As the days get cooler and the nights get longer, many plants are energized and triggered into their glory. The contrast of autumn perennials among falling leaves can be magnificent. When a fall perennial looks its best will depend on the variety, its location and the type of weather we are experiencing. Some will begin in mid to late August. Others will wait almost until frost. A …

Fall Rose Care

Fall rose case is easy. If you want great roses next year, here are four simple steps to make that happen.  #1 – It is very important to keep watering until the first hard freeze. During the winter, the cold winds will pull moisture from the canes, so it is important to have as much water as possible to prevent a lot of die back. It will also make the plant stronger so it has a better chance to survive …

Perennials for Fall Interest

Fall can be just as exciting as any other time in the growing season. As the days get cooler and the nights get longer, many plants are energized and triggered into their glory. The contrast of autumn perennials among falling leaves can be magnificent. When a fall perennial looks its best will depend on the variety, its location and the type of weather we are experiencing.  Some will begin in mid to late August. Others will wait almost until frost. …

Pansy Care

Pansies are the best kept secret for fall landscapes. Being winter hardy like mums, pansies will survive the frost and the cold winter nights of Michigan. With very little care, pansies will provide beautiful color in fall and again the following spring. Please Note – Pansies will not survive the winter in containers. They must be planted in the ground. It is not recommended to keep them more than one year as they dislike hot weather and get very leggy and untidy …

Fall Planting Guide for Mums

Planting in Flower Beds Choose mums that are still tightly budded. Gently tease the roots apart as you set out mums in their planting hole. Mums grow best in rich well drained soil. They prefer a position in the garden with at least a half day of sun. They also require plenty of air circulation around each plant. No fertilizer is required during the fall season. Water newly planted mums immediately after transplanting. During dry spells water as needed to …