This time of year, we frequently have people wondering if it’s too late to plant. We’re happy to report that fall is a FANTASTIC time to plant! Why? Well, there are a number of reasons. Cool nighttime temperatures, moderate daytime temperatures, and warm soil temperatures create favorable conditions that allow for rapid root establishment. Combine this with the fact that most plants are now finishing their top growth for the season, it allows the root system to take advantage of all the hard work your plant did during the growing season. You can certainly help your plant get ready for winter by planting with Van Wilgen’s Jump Start and amending the soil with Van Wilgen’s Premium Planting Mix. You’ll also want to make sure you water your new plant every three days if mother nature doesn’t help you out. We are never quite sure what she is up to these days.
You can still find plenty of fresh plant material here at the Garden Center that’s waiting to be put into the ground! Plant them now, and they’ll have a head start come spring!
Have questions? We’re here to help! Stop by and we can answer your questions and give you additional planting advice to ensure your plants thrive in your garden.
We’re just a couple of days away from the official start of fall which has us looking forward to Autumn colors, decorating our front porches with pumpkins, cornstalks, and mums, and all of the fun fairs and activities that the new season has to offer.
With everything going on, it can be easy to forget about your garden, but good news! We have an updated, easy fall checklist you can reference throughout the season to make sure your yard is in its best shape before winter hits.
Be sure to stop by Van Wilgen’s for all the plants and supplies you need. We’re here to help!
As summer comes to an end, rustic autumn colors sweep in as the season’s vibrant blooms begin to fade. Keep your garden looking fresh this year with some fall flowering plants in your space! Utilize plants with late bloom times and apply Bloom Booster to ensure your flowers are reaching their maximum potential.
Here Are Our Top Flowering Plants That’ll Put on a Fall Show
The color variety available for garden mums makes this one of our favorites for fall flowers. Mums can come in autumn hues of orange, gold, russet, and bronze which will keep your garden looking great all season long. Perennial Mums will last through the winter and will bloom again next year. Plant in full sun. Grows 18 inches tall.
Celosia brings incredible color and vibrancy to your garden. They offer flowers in different shapes and colors from the brain like cockscomb to the showy plume varieties that produce feathery flowers that look like flames or puffs of cotton candy. They bloom until the first frost. Plant in full sun. Grows up to 3 feet tall.
Daisy-like blossoms, with a resemblance to a star, will give your garden a fresh new shade of color. Blossoms in pinks, purples, blues, and whites emerge in late August to extend the beauty. Plant in full sun. Grows 5 inches tall.
These rounded, flat-faced flowers bring a variety of bright colors, and some autumn colors, to balance out your garden. Pansies are versatile and can be planted in your garden, a container, or planting beds. They bounce back after a bit of light frost, which does well in an autumn garden. Plant in partial to full sun. Grows 6-12 inches tall.
This fall long-blooming daisy stands up to salt spray, heat, and tight planting conditions in a cottage garden setting. Grows about 3 feet tall.
Gorgeous spikes of blue or purple color. Features large, flowers that can last into the fall. Benefits from a good hard trim after flowers are finished, in order to maintain a nice tight habit.
It’s always a good day for the team when we can take a minute to talk about some of our favorite plants. Fall is a fantastic time to plant, and an even better time to admire the landscape. We put pen to paper and came up with a few of our favorite Autumn plants. If you don’t see yours let us know, we love to know what you are planting!
• American Dogwood- Native tree with fantastic red fall color and interesting fruit set.
• Annual Mums- Everybody’s favorite fall flower that come in a wide range of colors and shapes.
• Japanese Anemone- Long blooming, deer resistant, clumping perennial at home in sun or shade.
• Little Quick Fire Hydrangea- the best fall foliage color of any panicled hydrangea, with long-lasting blooms persisting through the fall.
• Ivory Halo Red Twig Dogwood- Bright variegated foliage gives way to yellow fall color and blood-red branches in late fall and winter.
• Fothergilla- Unbelievable fall foliage display, showcasing the full palate of fall color- orange, red, yellow, and even purple hues in sun or shade.
• Montauk Daisy- Long fall-blooming daisy that stands up to salt spray, heat, and tight planting conditions in a cottage garden setting.
• Red Sprite Winterberry- the dwarf cultivar to have among an old-time Van Wilgen’s favorite plant. Large glossy red berries come out in fall and last well after the foliage has turned bright yellow and fallen off.
• New England Aster- Purple or pink flowers emerge in early September and brighten up any garden border
• Tree form Limelight Hydrangea- The only choice for a dwarf foundation tree with blooms that continue to be stunning through the fall.
• Itea- Deep red and even purplish tones emerge in the fall, helping this native shrub stand out in the woodland border.
• Sedum- Huge, almost broccoli-like flower heads that bloom from August to October are the favorite choice of bees and pollinators in the fall.
• Ornamental Grasses- The star of the fall landscape, with so many great colors and styles that we could devote a whole list just to them.
• Black-Eyed Susan- Classic native perennial that provides non-stop yellow blooms from late summer to mid-fall.
October has arrived and with it comes fall flavors. Pumpkin spice pops up practically wherever you go. And there’s nothing like a freshly picked apple or glass of apple cider.
Pollinators know it‘s fall too and they could use some help from your garden. This time of year is known as nectar flow, where many major nectar sources are blooming. They want their own fall fixes as they prepare to hibernate or migrate.
5 Fall Blooming Plants for Pollinators
All kinds of pollinators are attracted to this fall-blooming plant — bees, butterflies, native birds, and other insects. This double-duty plant will bring vibrant colors to your garden while providing nectar from summer into late fall. Asters are appealing to pollinators due to their friendly flower structure. They grow 2-3 feet tall and are happy in both sun and partial shade.
The fall color scape isn’t complete without the echinacea’s vibrant color. This easy-to-grow plant brings butterflies and bees to your garden. It grows well in full sun to part sun and blooms continually through the summer months. It is also deer resistant making it a great choice if you are challenged with deer problems.
Bring the fall colors to your garden with this deep purple plant. The flowers cluster at the top of a long slender stem, which butterflies and bees adore. Verbena responds better to late fall sowing as it likes cold temperatures. They grow 2-4 feet tall and are happy in full sun.
Joe Pye Weed
Joe Pye Weed is perfect for gardeners looking to add some height. It may be called a weed, but it brings the classic fall mauve to play with large dinner plate-sized blooms. They are loved by butterflies and will bloom late summer into the fall. They can grow up to 5 feet tall and are happy in full sun.
Autumn Joy Sedum
If you know the classic sedum for the large pink blooms, you will be in for a surprise with Autumn Joy. This variety offers burnt red blossoms on top of tall gray-green stalks. The vibrant fall color complements your garden this season. Butterflies are frequent visitors to this plant. It will last through the fall until the flowers dry in the winter. They grow 2 feet tall and are happy in full sun.
Be sure to keep fall blooms big and vibrant!
We love the contrasts and textures of fall foliage. From grasses to trees we have compiled a baker’s dozen of our favorites to see in the autumn landscape. If you don’t see your favorite let us know, we are always interested in what you are planting!
Hydrangea ‘Little Quick Fire’
‘Standing Ovation’ Grass
‘Little Miss’ Miscanthus
‘North Wind’ Panicum
Caring for your hydrangea can make all the difference for next year’s blooms. Hydrangea’s are strong and can come back from almost anything when given enough time and proper care.
Just follow these fall tips for pruning and maintenance. It isn’t complicated.
It is important to identify your variety first because some hydrangea varieties do not like being pruned in the fall.
If your garden has hydrangeas, then you need to know that there are two types of hydrangeas. One type produces flower buds on old wood and the other produces flower buds on new wood. Stems are called old wood if they have been on the plant since the summer before. New wood are stems that develop in the current season. Most varieties found in gardens are old wood bloomers including Mophead, Big Leaf, Lacecap, and Oakleaf hydrangeas. Double check your variety with your local garden center.
When to Prune
Hydrangeas can grow for years without being pruned, but if they get unruly, over take an area of the garden or lose their growing capabilities – it is time to trim. But when to prune them?
Prune fall blooming hydrangeas, or old wood bloomers, after they bloom in the summer. If you prune old wooded hydrangeas in fall, you are cutting off next seasons blooms.
Summer blooming hydrangeas, or those that bloom on new wood, are pruned in the fall, after they stop blooming.
Hydrangeas are colorful and vibrant in the early season, but are hard to preserve after being cut. They are easier to care for after they start drying on the bush.
How to Prune
Near the bottom of your plant, you will see thin, wispy, weak growth. Cut those down. They will take up energy that your plant could use for blooms.
Look for any dead stumps on your stems. They will not have grown any new wood or buds out of the original old wood. Cut the dead stumps down to their base to completely remove them. This will allow the new growth underneath to have a chance to succeed.
Dead and old blooms need to be removed to make room for new buds to come through. Cut the flower head off right above the first few leaves to encourage blooms for the next summer.
Stand back from the plant and observe its shape. You’ll want to prune the shrub into the shape you prefer, a sphere is the typical style but you could prune it into any shape you want!
Clean the Debris
Remove any debris that fell off from the base of the plant. You want to make sure your soil is free of any weeds, leaves and dead flowers.
For the best hydrangea care, feed 2-3 times throughout the growing season, which is from spring until fall.
Follow these few steps and your hydrangeas will be happy and vibrant for years to come.
The best time to plant a tree or shrub is in the fall. A well-placed tree will cool your home in summer and block cold winter winds. Not to mention that the aesthetics can increase your home’s curb appeal and add value.
Even though you may be prepping for winter, you can still set your new tree or shrub up for success by planting it in a spot where it can thrive for generations to come.
Decide on the right tree for your yard and needs before you plant. Choose a tree based on the characteristics you want — shade, wildlife habitat, privacy or to block the wind.
6 Easy Steps to Plant a Tree or Shrub
You’ve found the right tree and the perfect spot, now it’s time for the fun part. It doesn’t take much to plant a tree — just a shovel, tape measure, and hose. To help your new tree survive, you’ll need to put in the extra effort. Use these tips to help your new tree to grow.
- Size up your yard for the perfect spot. Take the amount of sunlight, ground vegetation, and hazards like wires or pipes into consideration. Plant at least 15 feet away from your house, sidewalks, driveways, and other trees. Allocate enough space in the yard for your new tree to grow. Consider its mature height, crown spread, and root space. A fully grown tree will take up much more space than your tiny sapling. Look up to make sure a fully grown tree won’t interfere with anything overhead.
- Start digging. Dig a hole twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball. Then, arrange the tree at the same depth it was growing before and fill half the hole with compost, Van Wilgen’s Premium Planting Mix, or Espoma Organic All Purpose Garden Soil.
- Give trees a boost. Mix in organic fertilizer with the soil. For a trunk diameter up to 1.5 inches, use 4 pounds of Tree-tone. If the trunk is 2-3”, use 4 pounds of Tree-tone per inch. So, if your tree trunk is 2.5 inches, use 10 pounds of Tree-tone. And, for tree trunks over 3 inches, use 5 pounds of Espoma Tree-Tone per inch.
- Stake the tree. Use two opposing, flexible ties to stake the tree. Place ties on the lower half of the tree to allow trunk movement.
- Help your new tree become established by watering it weekly for the first two years.
- Finish with mulch. Use 2 ½ -3 inches of shredded hardwood or leaf mulch around the plant. Do not over-mulch up to the trunk or “volcano” mulch. This can kill the tree.
Planting a tree is an investment in your home and your community that will pay off for years to come.
Well, we all made it through one of the rainiest spring and early summer seasons we have ever seen. Mother Nature was a huge help to us keeping all of our plants wet with minimal hand watering. With summer now winding down, things are now showing signs of drying out.
As we get into the fall planting season make sure that all plants are properly watered going into the winter season. Plants that are dry in the winter have a greater chance to sustain winter injury. Nighttime temperatures are now getting lower so plants won’t dry out as quickly. Please refer to our Van Wilgen’s Watering Guide to help you through the process.
So you just finished harvesting all of your crops, you have tomatoes in every drawer in your kitchen and your garden is cut back. What now?
With enough time left before the first frost, you can still get another crop in the ground.
Whether you are a planner or a fly by the seat of your pants kind of gardener, succession planting is something to try.
What is Succession Planting?
Succession planting is a way of planting that maximizes your harvest. You plant one vegetable right as another one finishes. There are a few ways to do this:
- Harvest Crop – Using the same plot for another set of vegetables after harvest. When a crop is finished, plant another, with a shorter maturity date, in its place. Leafy greens, followed by potatoes, are a great example of harvesting and replanting.
- Companion Crop – Plant two or more crops with varying maturity dates around each other. After the first crop is harvested, your garden will continue flourishing. Radishes next to cucumbers are great companions. Radishes will be harvested before the cucumbers start to produce too much shade.
- Staggered Crop – Plant the same crop every few weeks in order to not be bombarded by the entire crop at once. Tomatoes and peas are crops you’d want in small batches throughout the whole season.
- Same Crop – Plant the same crop with different maturity dates. Seed packets will display the days to maturity on the packets. Broccoli is an example crop with various maturity dates.
Now you know what succession planting is, here are a few steps to send you in the right direction.
5 Tips for Succession Planting
- Plan Accordingly – Growing based on maturity can be a little tricky if you aren’t planning for your region. Make sure to check the seed packet or plant tag to find out how long the plant will take to mature and what temperature it will grow best in. Make sure you have enough seeds to keep you going through the season.
- Plant Transplants – Speed up the growing process by starting seeds This will allow you to harvest and quickly plant to keep your garden at an optimum level all the way up to those winter months. Or, purchase plants as seedlings from your local garden center.
- Feed Regularly – Add Espoma’s Garden Tone to the soil between plantings to keep the soil rich and crops thriving.
- Don’t Hesitate – As you see plants starting to reduce or cease harvest, don’t hesitate to pull them to make room for a new crop.
- Rotate Crops – Try not to plant the same vegetable in the same spot year after year. This causes the soil to lose essential nutrients and increases the likelihood of diseases developing. Rotate crops every three years.
Succession planting can ensure your garden is in working production all season long. Learn what veggies it’s not too late to plant.