Celebrate Harvest Time – by guest blogger Annette Presseau

Recently we here in New England had a frost which lets us know that winter is not far away the air is crisp and refreshing and it is a great time of year to work outside in the yard removing your dead plants, falling leaves and planting bulbs.  The trees are so pretty with all the colors of fall take time to look at them and see the beauty around you also the leaves make great mulch.  I don’t feel ready for the cold weather yet and would love to have the warm weather last just a little longer but October weather can be very enjoyable too so get out and enjoy before it is too cold.

 

Brighten up spots with color.  Do you see spots in your yard that don’t have any color left then consider adding Mums or Chrysanthemums to brighten up your garden and you can also add Ornamental Kale and what about adding pumpkins or a scarecrow to liven up your garden?  Do you know the difference between mums or Chrysanthemums?  I have often wondered what is the difference between them?   The name Chrysanthemum creates further confusion because it does not differentiate between the two type commonly available.  Garden mums produce underground shoots or stolons which enable these mums to survive from year to year. Florist mums produce few or no stolons and are easily winter-killed. They are available nearly year round in floral shops, department stores, and grocery stores.  Both types are “photoperiodic,” meaning they bloom in response to short days and long nights.  They require a specific amount of time under short day growing conditions in order to set flower buds.  Typically, many garden varieties require 5 to 7 weeks to flower after the start of short days and can withstand several light frosts. Florist mums require 8 to 14 weeks of short days.

 

Apples, apples and more apples.  I just love apples and enjoy eating them and having apple pie, apple sauce, apple crisp anything with apples and one of my favorites is apple pancakes so whatever you like to have this time of year apples are a great fruit that is in season.  There is quite a variety of apples to choose from look for your local apple farm and go and have a great time picking apples or just pick up a bag of apples.

 

Pansies, Mums, Asters and Kale.  Now is the perfect time to plant Pansies, Mums and Kale which will bring great color to your yard and you can remove some of your summer flowers that are starting to look pretty bad.  Pansies can be planted in a pumpkin and all you do is scoop out the middle, make some holes in the bottom and take your plant add some soil and put in the pumpkin.  Pansies are the perfect autumn flower and they seem to just smile back at you and they also love this cool weather.  The more faded flowers you pick off the Pansies the more they will bloom.  Mums are really beautiful this time of year and flowering or ornamental Kale really gives a different color to the garden.  Asters are absolutely beautiful and all of these plants would really look great in your garden.

 

Garden cleanup.  Now is a good time to divide perennials and replant them and keep in mind that cleaning up your garden will help prevent pest problems in the coming year.  Fall plowing or tilling works wonders for any garden you can mix in organic matter to improve your soil and keep in mind that you do not apply any fertilizer to your plants in the fall.  One of the best ways to a successful spring garden is a thorough fall cleanup.  Make sure you completely clear the garden of weeds before they drop their seeds and create a problem for next year.

 

Garden Care.  You can spread compost or manure in the garden now to enrich your soil for next spring.  Bring plants indoors that you would like to keep over the winder.  Fall is also a good time to clean up foliage from roses, peonies, and any other plant with diseased foliage.

 

Bird Food Feeders and Other Things.  Avoid the temptation of cutting back all of the dead stalks in your flower gardens. Let purple coneflower, Black-eyed Susans, Sunflowers, and other plants with seeds and berries stand.  They’ll provide hours of enjoyment as you watch birds feed from them in the winter. Especially leave any local, native plants standing, since they’re the most likely to be edible for local wildlife.  Now is a great time to clean off birdfeeders; clean out and put away birdbaths for the winter.  Plant garlic for harvest next summer and sow wildflower seed for bloom next spring.  At this time you can harvest herbs, grasses and flowers for drying.

 

Thoughts for next Spring.  As winter sets in, you don’t have to abandon your garden—just move into the planning stage for spring planting. With a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate in hand, you can map out what you want to plant next growing season. And make sure you order your favorite seed catalog (we like Seed Savers Exchange and Seeds of Change) to peruse during the colder months.  I just love perusing through a flower catalog during the winter months it gives me great inspiration for next Spring!

 

Fall FoliageThis is a great time of year to go out and check out the fall foliage the colors of the leaves in New England are absolutely beautiful this time of year.  There are also a lot of fall fairs that are great to visit.

 

Fall Festivals.  It isn’t fall with a fall festival so check out the one’s in your area weather it is a arts and craft show or maybe a pumpkin festival or even an Octoberfest celebration whatever the festival is now is the time to get out and enjoy it.

 

Bulbs and more bulbs.  Autumn is a great time to plant bulbs for next spring like tulips and daffodils they come in all colors, styles and sizes and they look awesome in the spring.  Crocuses are the first to show up in the spring then Daffodils then Tulips so when you want to get a good flow of color when it is still cold outside then consider planting in bunches for a full dazzling display. 

 

Well I’m off to rake leaves, plant tulips and enjoy the beautiful foliage!

 

Annette Presseau      Billerica Garden Club

 

 

 

2 responses to this post.

  1. […] Celebrate Harvest Time – by guest blogger Annette Presseau (greenjoanrealestate.com) […]

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  2. […] Celebrate Harvest Time – by guest blogger Annette Presseau (greenjoanrealestate.com) […]

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