Summer isn’t the only season to enjoy a colorful garden. A fall garden can be filled with vibrant foliage and tasty vegetables, says Agromin, an Oxnard-based manufacturer of earth-friendly compost products made from organic material collected from more than 200 California cities.
Add Cool Season Flowers: A surprising number of flowers thrive in fall and winter. They include daisies, pansies, petunias, calendula, iberis, Iceland poppies, English primrose, foxgloves, snapdragons, winter snapdragon and sweet alyssum. Plant them in October for months of color.
Plant Fall Vegetable Garden: Gardening in fall is a pleasant experience—cooler weather and less need for heavy watering. Many cool season vegetables, including leafy greens and cilantro, are fast growers so you can enjoy almost immediate results. In-ground vegetables (carrots, beets and radishes) should be planted in October. Plant multiple times throughout fall and winter so you can harvest a continuous crop.
Prune Trees, Shrubs, Groundcover: After a summer of rapid growth, fall is the time to reshape trees and shrubs. Cut off dead or wayward branches. Trim groundcover to encourage new growth. Don’t over-trim, however. Keep at least three-quarters of the plant intact.
Cut Back On Watering: When the weather cools and the sun is lower in the sky, it’s time to cut back on your watering schedule. Water less frequently, but when you do water, water for the same amount of time. Longer watering enables the water to reach deep into the soil and to the plant root system. If hot winds occur (common in fall), increase your watering schedule, especially for new plants.
Plant A Mediterranean Garden: Depending on the climate in your area, many native Mediterranean plants can flourish. Fall is the time to plant lavenders, bugle lily, lamb’s ear, sages, aloes and agaves.
Harvest Pumpkins: If you planted pumpkins in summer, they should be ready in October in time for Halloween. Vines should be dry and rinds hard before removing pumpkins. Use pruners to cut the pumpkin from the vine, leaving about a two-inch stem attached to prevent spoilage. Once carved, be sure to keep the pumpkin seeds for roasting (add a little butter and salt and roast in a thin layer at 300 degrees).
Move Container Gardens: Consider placing containers with flowers and vegetables near fences or walls. This will enable plants to absorb reflected sunlight and help protect plants from wind.
For more gardening tips, go to www.agromin.com.