By John Voket
Recently, I chatted with Ed Hume (humeseeds.com) for some ideas about the best things to put into the ground this fall, so you can enjoy the beauty and bounty of your property into the winter and well into next season.
Hume suggests late summer plantings should include:
Fall Vegetables—Start fall and winter vegetables in late August. Green onions, carrots, beets, lettuce, spinach, radishes, and over-wintering cauliflower are popular ‘winter garden’ bounty.
Perennials and Biennials—These plants can be started from seed sown directly into the garden as late as mid-September, or even later. Hume says spring flowering perennials can be divided and transplanted this month or next as well. But do it during the coolest part of the day and water-in the plants thoroughly after transplanting.
Poinsettias and Christmas Cactus—Late this month, Hume says these plants should be brought back indoors to prepare them for Christmas flowering. Indoors the plants need to be placed where they will get 10 hours of bright light and 14 hours of darkness. Poinsettias need temperatures of about 65 to 70 degrees, while Christmas cactus need cool temperatures of about 50 to 60 degrees. Hume says the application of 0-10-10 fertilizer this month and again next should help encourage the development of flower buds on these two plants.
Crocus and Chrysanthemums—Hume says, summer and fall flowering chrysanthemums will begin to bloom and container grown plants can be planted directly into the garden now. Late summer is also the right time to plant fall Crocus bulbs. Always take time to properly prepare the soil by mixing generous quantities of peat moss, compost (if available) and processed manure with your existing soil.