Texas Gardener's April Checklist

Is there anything you can’t do in the Texas garden in April? This is a critical month for planting, sowing seeds, fertilizing and performing important garden maintenance chores. With so much to do, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, but take it a step at a time to ensure your garden is healthy, lush and beautiful. And keep one eye on the toaster while we are not as inclined to have a late-season frost at this point, it’s not hopeless, so be sure to cover up tender tails or new transplants if temperatures dip.

Noel Cross+Architects

Sow Seeds

Virtually any plant easily grown from seed could be sown this month. Be sure to check the planting directions on the backs of their seed packets to know the correct planting depth for each seed type.

Annuals. Opt for celosia, coleus, periwinkle, sunflower, zinnia, gomphrena, ageratum and cleome.

Herbs. Most herbs can be sown this month, including chives, catmint, basil, thyme, oregano, sorrel, tansy, winter savory, summer savory, yarrow, tarragon, germander, lavender, cumin, comfrey, sage and lavender.

Laara Copley-Smith Garden & Landscape Design

Vegetables. Lots of vegetable seeds can be sown: lima beans, snap beans, beets, chard, okra, radishes and summer squash. Wait till late April to sow seeds for corn, cucumbers, eggplant and pumpkin.

Erin Ponte Landscape Design

Plant Your Garden

You can plant nearly anything that month.

Vegetables. Eggplant, peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, tomatillos and sweet potato slips can be planted from 4 – to 6-inch containers.

Fruit. Cantaloupe, honeydewand watermelon are good options; look for them in 4-inch pots.

Herbs. Nearly all herbs can be planted, including rosemary, chives, thyme, oregano, lavender, sorrel, catmint, sage, lemongrass, lemon verbena, basil, catnip, bay laurel and tarragon. Plant from the nursery from containers.

Douglas C Lynn

Bulbs. Caladium, elephant’s ear and lily bulbs can be planted today, but be sure to plant them in the proper depth. A good rule of thumb is to plant two to three times stronger than the bulb is tall.

Annuals. Plant ageratum, geranium, impatiens, marigold, pentas, periwinkle, phlox, coleus and torenia. Start looking for 4-inch containers or six-packs for quick growth.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Perennials. Coneflower, shasta daisy, four-nerve daisy, lantana, salvia and yarrow could be planted this month. Start looking for 1-gallon pots for quicker growth and spread.

Ornamental grasses. Maiden grass, bamboo muhly, large muhly, pink muhly, inland sea turtles, Mexican feather grass, switchgrass and purple fountain grass are fantastic grasses to try. Choose grasses in 1 – .

Notice: Some grasses, like Mexican feather grass, can be invasive. Be sure your plant choices are appropriate and recommended for your region.

Frank & Grossman Landscape Contractors, Inc..

Trees and shrubs. It’s generally a good idea to plant those larger landscape plants in the cooler months, but it is possible to plant them today if you take a little extra care.
Dig a hole twice as wide as the root chunk of the plant, then add just a little bonemeal or rock phosphate to the pit. (Follow the package directions for numbers.) Plant and water in thoroughly. Spray some liquid seaweed within the planting area for more nutrients. Irrigate regularly through the first growing season (two to three times every week). Turfgrass and grass seed. Consider planting a native grass mix of buffalograss, curly mesquite and blue grama in a sunny part of your lawn — those grasses are drought tolerant and sturdy enough for foot traffic.

Make certain to prepare the region thoroughly before sowing grass seed — follow the directions on the package — and keep it moist until the seed has sprouted.

If you want to include sod to get a more instant lawn, start looking for bits of St. Augustine or zoysia, both of which are somewhat tolerant of light shade. Always follow turfgrass recommendations from specialists locally, such as a trustworthy nursery or your county extension office, even if making bud selections.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Stay on Top of Garden Maintenance

If you continue with frequent maintenance chores this month, your garden will thrive throughout the hotter summer months. And if the forecast is right, it’s going to be another warm and humid season.

Weed. Hand select stray weeds before they go to seed or spread, but be sure to pull them out from the roots rather than breaking them off at the soil surface.

Use chemical weed controls only when required, depending on the severity of your weed issue. There are lots of organic options available that are kinder to the surrounding environment, but use caution if employing a solution of any sort — those that are labeled “nonselective herbicides,” whether they’re organic or not, will kill any plant they’re sprayed.

Fertilize. Spray a seaweed solution on your bedding plants once every week for lush growth and flourishing. Fertilize based trees, shrubs and other plants using a balanced fertilizer, and go light on fertilizing newly planted transplants.

Fertilize your lawn using a low-nitrogen fertilizer and water it in thoroughly. Use a water-soluble fertilizer for container plants and houseplants. Always follow the package directions, as overfertilizing can really harm your plants.


Bugs. Be on the watch for detrimental bugs, such as aphids, tomato hornworms, leaf rollers and spring cankerworms. Remember that not all bugs are bad — ladybugs feed on unwanted pests and should be protected and encouraged to set up home.

Identify your problem pest by choosing a sample to a local nursery, and then make your treatment selection from that point. Always follow package directions when using any pesticide or chemical to prevent damaging insects.

Compost. Add 1 or 2 inches of mulch to bare soil areas to amend the soil, and then gently work it into your topsoil. I like to use a garden fork to loosen the region up to incorporate the dirt, then rake it smooth with a challenging rake and then add mulch.

Arterra Landscape Architects

Mulch. A 3-inch layer of mulch around all plantings will maintain soil moisture and discourage weeds. In Texas use a Texas native hardwood mulch, which is shredded and resists moving through a hard rain. Mulches such as bark chips or stoves have a tendency to wash off, leaving the soil bare and creating a maintenance issue.

Irrigate. New plantings require regular irrigation to establish roots. Attempt to water toward the bottom of the plant rather than about the plant’s leaves (which can create fungal problems); water deeply and less often, and always comply with any watering instructions that exist in your area.

More regional gardening manuals

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Want Compelling Garden Minimalism? Think 1 Plant, One Pot

It feels like choices for planter filling are very very polarized these days. Gardeners either decide on a stiff boxwood ball to impart minimalist European flair or an ever-more-complex assortment of carefully researched annuals. I’m proudly guilty of both approaches. Yet I, too, like to change the idea of one plant per pot — a lot of boxwoods could be blah.

Based on context, style and exposure, I’ll pick one particularly charismatic specimen and bring it up to eye level. Without fitting companions, without flowery trim, this lucky one then takes an entirely new dimension. Against a backdrop, it pops like never before. Let us look at seven instances of the plant favoritism.

CYAN Horticulture

Well past Quebec City in Canada, the cold maritime climate of famous backyard Les Quatre-Vents matches this old dwarf pine tree. Perched on a dry-laid stone wall full of alpine plants, a white painted concrete planter hosts a single walnut, probably put in decades ago.

Having a bit of summer watering and some thoughtful design, this pine nonchalantly eyeglasses a magistral vista of the surrounding areas. Restraint is the only thing to do here.

CYAN Horticulture

In this simplest combination of a Ghostbuster-green chair and a cabbage tree (Cussonia paniculata), nothing detracts from the gardener’s intention: plant collector’s whimsy.

This amusing-looking cabbage tree is a choice South African native generally restricted to under-glass botanical collections. Wheeled inside for the winter, it has happily adapted to the Washington state climate.

CYAN Horticulture

One plant per pot could end in the boldest vignettes. In a temporary garden installation in Montreal, a quartet of huge agaves dresses up glistening urns. Their highly charismatic silhouettes, here contrasting against pearl-colored exercise balls (of all things), are radically put on show. Less is more, they say …

BLUE Renovation & Landscape

If diversity is kept out of our cards, repetition can considerably improve our hands. Here a series of equal planters, smooth and sleek, forms a regiment along a beautiful wall. Every planter is topped with an extremely contrasting variegated yucca to make a powerful contemporary scene. By the simplicity, maintenance is kept to a bare minimum.

CYAN Horticulture

Brought out from the open and hence deprived of any smoldering competition, this cute cape rush (Chondropetalum tectorum) takes centre stage. It’s a mesmerizing native of Cape Province, South Africa, which looks like an alien cross involving an ornamental grass and a horsetail. Isolated and raised upward, this cape rush gets the enviable quality of a museum piece perched on a plinth.

CYAN Horticulture

Actual plant fans and collectors often favor, for practical reasons, to keep their specimens in individual pots. Yet a simple researched category of these collectors’ items can become a really satisfying garden makeup. In the excellent Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina, a few of named cacti achieves that.

CYAN Horticulture

Sophisticated or trivial, rare or common, most crops will grow dramatically in perceived value propped up at a wonderful pot. As a last proof, I challenge anyone to really downplay this case: a variegated sanseveria, the ultimate pedestrian indoor plant, in a simple terra-cotta pot as the centerpiece of a Chanticleer Garden installation in Pennsylvania. Yes, less is often more. And not a bore.

More: Simple Container Plantings for Intriguing Garden Design

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Summer Crops: How to Grow Corn

The sweetest corn is that which is chosen and instantly cooked. Therefore, if you want the best-tasting corn, consider raising it yourself.

Traditionally, corn contains demanded warmth, long summer days and a lot more space than many other vegetables, which makes it a bad selection for cooler climates or people with short growing seasons and tiny gardens. Fortunately, there are new hybrids bred for cooler summers, short summers and even tropical island living. As for the distance required, that’s still needed, however with planning you can create your own “cornfield” a highlight on your own garden. You may even find some new types that can manage being grown in a container.

As soon as you’ve decided to have a cornfield, then you get to pick on how impatient you are for the first ear. (Maturity dates are just more than 50 days to around 100 days.) You’ll also want to choose if you’re going traditional with white, yellow or bicolor kernels or branching into green, red, black or blue corn. And then there’s the question of just how much sweetness you want, since there are now quite sweet varieties available to home growers. To guarantee a long harvest or test out numerous types, plant successively or select early-, mid- and – late-season varieties.

For something different, develop your own popcorn. It’s slow to older but often boasts colorful kernels. Plus, you can enjoy your harvest well into winter.

Notice: Corn can easily cross-pollinate, so if you want a particular selection, plant it individually, at least 100 feet away and not downwind from other corn types, or select varieties that mature at various times.

Land Design, Inc..

When to plant: Begin planting about two weeks after your last frost date, when soil temperatures have reached at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius); in hot desert regions, plant early enough to harvest from early summer.

Days to maturity: 53 to more than 100

moderate requirement: Full sun at least eight hours per day

Water requirement: Regular

Bodacious, Country Gentleman, Golden Bantam, How Sweet It Is, Honey and Cream, Illini X-tra-Sweet SH2, Indian Summer SH2, Kandy Korn, King Kool, Luscious, Miracle, Northern Xtra Sweet, Peaches and Cream, Silver Queen, Trinity, WhiteoutShort-season: Earlivee, Early Sunglow, Fleet, PolarVeeIsland: Hawaiian Supersweet #9, Hawaiian Supersweet #10, H68Popcorn: Bear Paw, Smoke Signals, Strawberry, Tom Thumb, White CloudContainer: Blue Jade, On Deck

Ecocentrix landscape design

Planting and maintenance: Choose a well-drained website in sunlight. Mix compost or manure into the soil 2 to three weeks before planting. Set up any irrigation furrows or drip systems before planting too.

To maximize pollination, plant corn in a block containing at least four rows of corn which are 3 feet apart (the most productive method) or in a collection of hills ( less productive but easier to do). Water the soil thoroughly before planting.

If you’re planting in a block, then sow seeds 1 to 2 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. When seedlings reach 6 inches, then thin them to 2 1 1/2 feet aside.

To plant in hills, mound up the soil a few inches high and 3 feet apart. Sow five to six seeds per hill, 1 to 2 inches deep, then thin to three plants per hill.

For best container effects, plant in four or three 20-inch containers. Make three holes per container, sowing two seeds in each hole. Thin to one plant per hole once seeds have germinated and reached about 1/2 foot tall.

Ecocentrix landscape design

Keep the soil moist but not soggy water deeply once the silks form. Feed the soil when plants reach 1 to 2 1 1/2 feet tall and if they are 2 to 2 1/2 feet tall.

Weed carefully around the roots but don’t bother pulling the suckers, as they will not impact growth.

Numerous insects may damage corn, such as aphids, flea beetles and moths. Good gardening practices can help alleviate some of these problems. Covering the ears with panty hose can protect them from some harm, and applying a few drops of mineral oil to the tip of each ear after the silks appear can stop corn earworms. Corn may also be subject to damping off.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Harvest: around three months after the silks appear, the corn should be prepared to harvest. Once the silks are brown, sliced the outer husk in a ear or 2 and pinch a kernel; when the juice which squirts out is simmer, the corn is ripe. For the best results, crop when the water from the cooking kettle is boiling, though some newer and sweeter varieties will maintain their glucose more. If you harvest ancient, store the corn unhusked from the refrigerator.

For baby corn, crop shortly after the silks appear.

For popcorn, wait until the silks and husks are completely dry; rub or cut off the kernels and store them in a dry location.

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Great Design Plant: Conebush

There is A background plant anything but a filler. It’s a base, providing structure, highlighting surrounding plants and showcasing just a bit of its own special traits. From as a cut flower the backyard, conebush stands out as among my favourite base plants. A South African native and member of their family Proteaceae, conebush offers dramatic foliage color yearlong. Vivid colors of gold, green, red, pink and orange punctuate the backyard during the year, adding extra holiday cheer throughout autumn and winter.

Dig Your Garden Landscape Design

Botanical name: Leucadendron (and hybrids)
Common name: Conebush, leucadendron
USDA zones: Vary by species; most plants can withstand temperatures to the low 20s and can take care of a mild frost.
Water necessity: Moderate
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Mature dimensions: Varies with species; typically the size of a large shrub or small tree
Advantages and tolerances: Tolerant of drought as well as coastal waters
Seasonal interest: Most plants blossom winter through spring; attractive folilage
When to plant: In spring after the last frost

Shown: Leucadendron ‘Safari Sunset’

Dig Your Garden Landscape Design

Distinguishing attributes. Conebush’s distinguishing features ring true in the backyard as well as in the house. Hybrids are commonplace and come in a wide variety of sizes and colors. Some varieties are shrubbier, while others resemble small trees.

Evergreen, simple leathery leaves within a broad array of colors produce inflorescence (flower clusters) primarily in autumn through spring.

Shown: Leucadendron ‘Pisa’

Debora carl landscape layout

Leucadendron is dioecious, meaning male and female plants are somewhat different. Female and male floral bracts change, but foliage and blossoms are stunning on both.

Shown: Leucadendron ‘Winter Red’ and kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos)

Pat Brodie Landscape Design

The best way to utilize it. Conebush is a sophisticated choice for the northeast landscape. Other plants are complemented by its foliage, and it is used as a background plant.

Its particular growing requirements dictate where your conebush will flourish. Landscape designer Eileen Kelly says that planting conebush on hillsides or slopes assists drainage and also showcases the depth of its foliage. Smaller plants can also be grown in containers. (Remember that conebush does not transplant well.)

Shown: Leucadendron ‘Cloudbank Ginny’ (in background), surrounded by breath of paradise (Coleonema ‘Sunset Gold’), Beschorneria, parrot’s beak (Lotus berthelotii), silver spurflower (Plectranthus argentatus) and ground glory (Convolvulus sabatius).

Gardens from Gabriel, Inc..

Planting notes. Leucadendron is sun loving, drought tolerant and an overall beautiful shrub. It can be finicky about ailments and is not the easiest plant to grow. Protect it from extreme winds. Promote good air circulation. Maintain well-drained soil. “I like to add perlite or little red lava stone to assist with drainage,” says Kelly.

It’s also particular about soil types. “Calcium and potassium can be detrimental to Leucadendrons, therefore they ought to not be fertilized. Adding compost annually around the base provides valuable nutrients,” says Kelly. Compost is essential.

Dig Your Garden Landscape Design

Every spring, before new growth emerges, prune spent blossoms to clean the plant up and promote more flowering. Conebush does not enjoy soil disturbance or being transplanted, and therefore you need to trim only spent blossoms — don’t cut back the whole stem.

Shown: Leucadendron ‘Sylvan Red’

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Cool-Season Vegetables: How To Grow Spinach

Spinach is your ultimate cool-season crop; it bolts fast once it encounters hot weather, which is anything above 75 degrees, or even if the days get too lengthy. However, it is great for spring, autumn and even winter in mild climates. And there are some varieties that are bolt-resistant.

There are generally three types of spinach: the savoyed (crinkly) and semisavoyed types as well as also the flat-leaf types. Baby spinach is flat-leaf lettuce harvested just three or four weeks following the seedlings appear.

More: How to grow cool-season veggies

When to plant: Sow seeds around two months before the final frost date, then keep sowing every three weeks until just past the last freeze date. In autumn, sow seeds a month to six weeks before the first frost date; continue throughout winter at mild-winter climates.

Days to maturity: 40 to 150

Light requirement: Full sun to light shade, particularly if afternoons will probably be somewhat hot

Water requirement: Provide consistent water but do not overwater

Favorites: Bloomsdale Longstanding, Indian Summer, Marathon, Oriental, Red Cardinal, Space, Tyee

Steve Masley Consulting and Design

Planting and care: Soil — at the ground or in a pot, as shown here — must be well drained and well amended. Sow seeds a half inch deep and an inch apart. Thin to 3 to 4 inches apart when seedlings appear (the very best and most nutritious way to thin is to pick the leaves off and eat them). Set transplants for this spacing too. Keep the soil continuously most but not overly wet, and make certain to weed carefully round the plants. Aphids, cabbage worms and leaf miners are the most annoying pests.

Laara Copley-Smith Garden & Landscape Design

Harvest: Either pick off leaves as you need them harvest the whole plant. If you will need the whole plant but do not wish to pull it out, cut off leaves around an inch above the soil; the plant will regrow.

More: How to Grow Cool-Season Vegetables

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13 Inspiring Tips for Backyard Sheds

As we hit the peak of the summer gardening season, you may be craving a better space for the tools and pots compared to that cluttered corner in the garage. Or perhaps you are at that point where your current shed is a mess that looks beyond hope. Whether you are sketching out strategies or dreading cleaning up, I’ve lots of beautiful examples which show off some fantastic ideas to help you get going. Here are enviable garden sheds where I would be delighted to destroy a manicure.



1. Make your potting shed a garden folly. This magnificent potting shed in Augusta, Georgia, adds elegance to the house with its formal fashion, weathered brick and custom windows. Its siting at the edge of the oval garden past the quatrefoil fountain recalls the way European landscapes have follies throughout.

Custom closets, a gravel floor and a workstation that includes a sink make it a dreamy escape for a gardener.

Historical Concepts

Historical Concepts

2. Choose rustic materials which are not too precious. This gorgeous carriage home is new but was created to look like a barn that might have served the Lowcountry house in a different age. It serves many purposes, including holding automobiles, but my favorite is the gorgeous potting shed.

Bin pulls, wood countertops and a brick flooring give it charming antique style. It not only has room for preparing plants for the garden, but also includes a spout so the owners can prepare floral structures.

Theresa Fine

3. Add furniture that is comfortable . Over at Shy Rabbit Farm in New Hampshire, the new potting shed serves not only as a spot for tending to the herb garden, but also as a relaxing escape for those homeowners.

Theresa Fine

A comfy chair gives a cozy spot for reading novels and gardening magazines.

See the rest of this home

4. To get a new shed, select materials that work together with your own landscape. In Langhorne Lodge in New York, a charming stone potting shed plays the property’s beautiful stone walls. The adjacent Adirondack-style chicken coop suits the woodsy land to a T.

Princeton Design Collaborative

Princeton Design Collaborative

5. Allow it to be contemporary. In this New Jersey backyard, a contemporary shed crafted of cedar siding, metal and copper plumbing pieces coordinates together with the adjacent modern arbor.

Explore the rest of this landscape

Groundswell Design Group

6. Create connections between the shed and the home. In Princeton, New Jersey, the landscape architects at Groundswell Design Group were tasked with producing a landscape which connected the historical main house to the 1800s potting shed. They crafted an arbor from vintage streetlamp articles, made a bluestone terrace and added feminine Amish-crafted doors to provide the potting shed the presence it deserved.

See the rest of this landscape

Groundswell Design Group, LLC

Giambastiani Design

7. Organize ladders, tools and other things. On this estate in the Berkshires, antique ladders, carts and tools add to the ambience. Neat shelves full of terra-cotta pots lend an organized appearance.

Giambastiani Design

Mark Hickman Homes

8. Space from the home or garage. The doorway on the right gives simple access to a garden shed here. The interior has an innovative organizing system.

Mark Hickman Homes

9. Give yourself a tool silhouette guide. The tools on the right are easy to fit in their proper spots together with the clever matching silhouettes.

Mark Hickman Homes

How smart is that?

Avant Garden

10. Try out a kit shed. Within this artist’s garden, mini trellises, a sculpture and a door with a window add character to a simple kit.

The shed is perched between a dog run and an arbor in this garden.

Check more out prefab sheds

Avant Garden

Conservatory Craftsmen

11. Make it a greenhouse too. This gorgeous conservatory works hard like a greenhouse, potting shed and refuge with a backyard view.

Conservatory Craftsmen

Conservatory Craftsmen

The greenhouse is decorated similar to an outdoor room, combined with interior decoration, such as the chandelier.

12. Consider cargotecture. Can you think this transport container was transformed into a charming outbuilding? While the clever homeowners use it like a hay barn, it may easily be made into a potting shed.

Learn more about this amazing transformation

Norris Architecture

13. Look to rural buildings for wall inspiration. Reclaimed timber, bare walls, beadboard and board and batten siding are all wall treatments that lend the ideal appearance to potting sheds.

This was among the very popular outbuilding photographs on in 2012, therefore it has to have just about everything right. The pragmatic sinks, barn lights, farm worktable and mirrored wood-clad walls ooze charm.

Next: More great ideas for outdoor living | Inspiring backyard retreats

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Texas Gardener's November Checklist

November only may be one of the most ideal months of this year — Indian summer is officially gone, and today are marked by a crisp coolness that’s a welcome relief in heat October temperatures. Use this time to find some significant garden chores done before the really cold weather strikes — and then remind yourself that the work you do now in the garden will repay next spring using a lush, healthful landscape.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Plant trees and shrubs. All shrubs and trees should be planted in the autumn for best growth next year, as autumn planting makes it possible for these bigger plants several months to build deep, healthy roots. They will be drought resistant and have more vigorous expansion.

Try planting some spring-flowering shrubs and trees, such as azaleas, abelias, redbuds and Mexican plums — they are some of the very first to herald the arrival of spring after a long winter.

The Todd Group

Care for your lawn. Overseed your lawn with perennial rye to get a green winter lawn. In our area it is not really perennial and will perish after the weather warms up at the spring.

Winterize your lawn by spraying on it weekly using a seaweed solution, and if you fertilize, make certain to use a lawn fertilizer that’s high in calcium for healthy root development. Start looking for nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratios such as 8-6-12, 8-12-16 or 10-5-14 in a winter fertilizer bundle.

The best way to give your turf a fall tune-up

Susana Merenfeld p Weisleder

Prune dead limbs from trees and shrubs. Complete this job before the leaves fall off and remove only those limbs that are clearly dead. Don’t prune off any living or healthy limbs at this moment. Always make certain you know which sort of shrubs and trees you’ve got and what their particular care is, however it is a good general guideline to get rid of dead growth before winter storms pick up.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Mulch around plants. Very similar to how Mother Nature provides a blanket with fallen leaves, mulch “blankets” your landscape plants and shields them from winter cold. Ensure you’ve got a good 2- to 3-inch layer of wood mulch, but avoid heaping mulch upward on the plant bases, which may quickly rot the crops. I like to “feather” mulch until the bottom stem or trunk of a plant to get the very best coverage.

Niki Jabbour

Add row covers to protect against freezes. Although our area of Texas experiences quite mild winters, we are all aware that’s subject to change. It is not uncommon to have freezing temperatures and occasional ice and snow cubes, so be ready to safeguard your winter vegetables with row covers.

Many nurseries and garden centers have frost blankets that you could drape over arched PVC pipes to pay your beds; be sure to remove the covers if the dangerous weather has now passed.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Plant vegetables and herbs. Continue your autumn and winter vegetable and herb garden with transplants of mustard, winter greens, spinach, peas, cilantro, dill, fennel, parsley, chives and oregano.

Some seeds may be sown as well — try mustard, radish and lettuce in the very first part of the month. Always consult the local planting graphs for the optimal times to plant in your town.

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

Plant annual flowers and decorative plants. Spruce up your container plantings and perennial beds using some bright-colored annuals. Great cold-tolerant options include decorative cabbages and kale, pansies, violas, alyssums, snapdragons, cyclamens and stocks.

If your area is anticipating a hard freeze, water these plants nicely beforehand to protect them. A plant that’s hydrated has a far greater chance against the elements than one that’s fighting.

Jennifer Jamgochian / Multiflora

Plant perennials. Get those perennials in the ground this month with transplants of lantanas, salvias, ornamental grasses, yellow bells, coneflowers, rudbeckias and columbines.

Perennials planted at the time of year is going to have much bigger growth and increased blossoms than those planted in the spring. Remember to mulch around your freshly planted infants to keep them secure over the winter.

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Southeast Gardener's October Checklist

Fall for me brings the beginning of the new gardening season, and October is fall’s most festive month. Shorter days and cooler temperatures mean earning crops for a changing season. I am not sure what excites me more: the foliage colour change or the further light from fewer leaves on the trees.

Gardening with Confidence®

Plant annuals. Kale, cabbages, mustards, pansies, snapdragons and violas are annuals which are colorful, long lasting and inexpensive; I’ve often wondered why they are so underused.

Purchase pansies and violas once the selection is best, as soon as September, but wait till late October to plant them. Early October can be too hot to plant, but do not wait till then to purchase, or the selection will probably be too scarce. Nurse the plants in a holding area if you need to to make certain you get your top choice.

Gardening with Confidence®

Transplant trees and shrubs. Are you waiting to rearrange a few trees and shrubs? Now, with all the heating temperatures, is a good time to start the procedure.

It’s ideal to root prune this month and transplant 30 days (or more) later. This allows woody ornamentals a chance to recover before being transported to their new site. Root pruning sparks small feeder roots near the back. These brand new roots will probably be dug as part of their transplant, permitting the tree or tree to adapt.
Water the soil well the day before root pruning. Prune out in the back a 10- to 12-inch-diameter root ball for every inch of trunk diameter. Consequently, a 2-inch-diameter back will probably be root pruned about two feet in the trunk.Using a flat spade, start cutting a trench about 24 inches deep. If you crash into big roots, cut loppers.Continue cutting a circular trench around the tree trunk and water completely.

Gardening with Confidence®

Split peonies. In case your herbaceous peony has gotten too large for its existing location, or if you just need to move or share it, it may be split after the first frost.

Period Homes, Inc..

Prepare your houseplants for winter. Many of us like to give our indoor houseplants a summer vacation outside, but the summertime is about to end. It’s time to bring those plants back inside.

Throughout the summer you may have found that your crops grew a lot, and errant branches are in need of a little pruning. Herbaceous plants may just be pinched back, but use clippers on woody stems. Be sure to remove any stalks or leaves that are dead or diseased.

Repot plants whose roots are growing out of the drainage holes or are in the soil’s surface. Select a container that’s only 1 size larger than the older one; otherwise leading growth may be retarded while the roots try to fill up the excess space.

Clean the leaves of dust and dirt which gathered during the summertime. This covering may interfere with a plant’s capacity to turn light into food. A gentle spray from the garden hose and a mild wipe with a sponge are often adequate.

A light application of insecticidal soap is a smart precaution prior to bringing back your plants inside, even if you haven’t seen signs of pests. Spider mites and other pests thrive in a dry, heated house and will multiply rapidly, if current.

As soon as they’re inside, find your plants where they will receive as much natural light as possible. When you water them so thoroughly but less frequently in winter than you did in the summertime.

Gardening with Confidence®

Plant cool-season vegetables. The cooler fall temperatures bring cool-season plants. It’s time to plant or seed spinach and collards. Also, lettuce and pineapple will once more thrive in your backyard.

Consider trying some new types this season, or vary your normal choices. Why not add some red-leaf lettuce? Loose-leaf red lettuce packs a high nutrient value, including being an fantastic supply of beta-carotene.

Gardening with Confidence®

Water well before winter. In case October and November are dry, give perennials a deep final soaking so that they go dormant in great states. They’ll be less subject to being killed in winter with a beverage till they sleep.

Gardening with Confidence®

Compost those leaves. Use a mower equipped with a mulching blade to chop fallen leaves on the pot. These leaves make a excellent addition to garden beds or the compost heap.

Gardening with Confidence®

Prepare beds. It’s also a great time to prepare garden beds for next year.
Mark brand new beds (or even the beds you want to extend) with marking paint or a hose. Cut a border, turning this dirt to the new bed, and cover 8 to 10 layers of newspaper. Cover with about 4 inches of leaves that are chopped or composted leaf mulch.Now sit back and let nature take her course. Your bed will be ready for planting in the spring.

Gardening with Confidence®

Enjoy wildlife. Don’t be so quick to tidy up. The remains of this summer and autumn garden give refuge, food and cover for wildlife, while also adding winter interest to garden beds.

Pictured here is a praying mantis egg case I found one year whilst cutting back my backyard. It was at this point I learned to slow down my autumn pruning before the spring, once the leaves were removed off and overwintering wildlife was easier to see.

Gardening with Confidence®

Watch out for canna leaf roller. Cannas are great accent plants and attract hummingbirds to the garden. Plus, most canna cultivars are hardy from the Southeast and may overwinter in the floor. If you found your canna foliage riddled with holes, you probably have leaf roller. Canna leaf rollers are major pests in the Southeast, inducing the beautiful foliage to become unsightly.

After the first frost, cut the leaves to the floor and eliminate it in the backyard. Control overwintering pests are helped by taking away the foliage. Don’t mulch, since the pest may overwinter.

More guides to Southeast gardening | Locate your U.S. garden checklist

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Provide Your Turf

Your yard probably has just taken a beating this summer — family gatherings, bring with the dog, and kids’ games and toys have probably been working jointly with drought and heat to earn your grass gasp to get a breather. If your yard is in need of a little TLC, you’re in luck — fall is the ideal time to revitalize it so that the next season’s grass is the greenest and healthiest it can be.

Wagner Hodgson

1. Know your bud. There are cool-season and warm-season grasses, and many varieties in each category.
Cool-season grasses (Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, perennial ryegrass) are far better suited for cooler climates, are most productive in spring and fall, occasionally require more irrigation and are generally mowed higher than warm-season grasses due to their erect growth habit. Warm-season grasses (Bermuda, St. Augustine, big bluestem) grow best in warmer climates, are typically more drought tolerant and are often mowed at lower heights.Be sure to check with the local lawn experts for certain recommendations for turf grass in your town.

Fairfield House & Garden Co

2. Fertilize. In the fall, fertilize your yard with an NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) ratio of 3-1-2 or 4-1-2. The ratio doesn’t have to be exact, but do attempt to obtain a product with comparable quantities. Strategy to use approximately 1 pound of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of yard and always stick to the package instructions. Applying too much fertilizer will not help your bud and, in actuality, may damage .

J. Peterson Garden Design

3. Dethatch. Thatch is the buildup of dead roots and stems which develop between the soil and the green grass blades.

If you have just a little buildup, you can use a hard rake or a dethatching rake to remove the dead grass, but if you have over 1/2 inch you will have to core aerate from the fall or the spring.

Core aeration utilizes rentable gear to remove plugs of soil, raising the soil’s ability to get water, fertilizer and air. If your buildup is thicker than 2/3 inch, you will have to not just core aerate but add 1/8 to 1/4 inch of organic matter like compost or peat. Water in well.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

4. Control weeds. September and October are the best months to control perennial broadleaf weeds like clover and dandelions. These weeds are busy taking in sun and nourishment to get them during the winter months, so that means they are open to receiving weed killers too.

If you have just a couple of weeds, then pull them out , but more numerous weeds may require extra tactics or chemicals — either organic or nonorganic. Much like fertilizers, always stick to the package instructions when applying any chemical to your yard to prevent damaging it and the surrounding crops. Do not worry about any bare spots made by marijuana removal; your healthful bud will take over those areas very quickly.

J. Peterson Garden Design

5. Sow grass seeds. If you have large bare spots left by marijuana removal or simply need to set up a new or extended part of your yard, mid-August to mid-September is the best time to sow grass seeds. Always check with your county extension office or trustworthy local nursery about the best times to sow seeds in your town, however.

Before you sow, make certain that you have ready the soil properly to find the best outcomes. Till the soil at least 6 inches deep, add 1/2 to 1 inch or so of mulch or peat, rake the soil smooth and sow the seeds. Water in well and keep the soil consistently moist until after the new growth emerges, approximately 6 weeks.

More: Are You Ready to Lose the Lawn?

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Rocky Mountain Gardener's September Checklist

Ahhhh, September! The worst of all summer’s extreme heat is gone, the glare of sunlight has softened and it’s delightful to be active at the garden once more. Rainy days and cool nights are ideal for getting new plants based. The soil is warm and achievable, allowing for good root growth and development before winter, and warmer air temperatures lessen the amount of transpiration — and jolt — ordinary during the heat of the summer.

More ideas for gardening at the Rockies

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Exotic trees, shrubs and perennials. If you have been itching to add some colour or construction to your landscape, then now’s a great time to search for plants. Nurseries will be pushing earnings with special promotions and discounts so that they can clear out their inventory before winter, and also you, the customer, win.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Plant for winter shade. Broadleaf evergreens ought to be a priority for your fall planting schedule. These plants attract much-needed colour and texture to the winter landscape but can suffer from our area’s low humidity, extreme sunlight and drying winds.

September planting enables roots to grow, particularly important for evergreens during the winter, since the roots’ ability to absorb water helps counter the plant’s moisture reduction via its leaves that are persistent. Generally, broadleaf evergreens look their very best when planted in a secure location with filtered shade or morning sun and afternoon shade.

The many drought-tolerant alternatives for this area include Oregon grape holly (Mahonia spp), manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp) and yucca (Yucca spp) — all hardy to about 7,500 feet in altitude. Selections of those plants are native to a lot of locations throughout the Rockies.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Firethorn (Pyracantha spp) requires only a bit more water, as do boxwood (Buxus spp) and most of the evergreen Euonymus species. All these plants are best at elevations of 6,000 feet or below.

Program of an antidesiccant to the foliage from late November will help foliage hold its color better during the winter. Mulching and winter watering are all crucial to keep plants hydrated.

Pendleton Design Management

Plant for permanence. Trees are a big investment of time and money but are often vital to making the architectural aspects of a landscape: supplying privacy or shade, modifying end or noise, framing a view, etc..

Fall planting can make buying a tree easier on your budget, and it’s less stressful on the plant, too. Confer with a nursery or a landscape specialist to select a healthy tree that will adapt well to the growing conditions indigenous to your website.

For instance, what’s your hardiness zone or microclimate? Soil type? Water budget? Available distance? Trying to modify your surroundings to match the needs of a plant is rarely successful in the long term, therefore it’s ideal to be an educated gardener-buyer.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Transplant perennials. A fantastic guideline to keep in mind is that perennials that flower in the spring and summer ought to be moved in the fall, and those that flower in summer and fall ought to be moved from the spring. The concept is to allow the plants “settle in” to their new location (get some root expansion) before the push to flower occurs.

Although this is not a hard and fast rule, peonies (Paeonia spp) in particular needs to be moved in the fall. When transplanting peonies it’s important to blog them in full sun and provide them with a deep, loamy, well-draining soil. Put the main buds (or “eyes”) 1 to 1 1/2 inches) below the soil level. Peonies that are planted too deeply will not flower.

Other great candidates for moving now include poppies (Papaver spp), phlox (Phlox ssp) and daylilies (Hemerocallis spp). Mulch should be utilised to safeguard fall transplants by maintaining soil temperatures above freezing longer into the fall (permitting better root growth).

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Purchase spring-flowering bulbs. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinth and much more are available for purchase now. Shop your regional independent garden center for large, premium bulbs. Although they might be more expensive, larger bulbs are usually greater — they pack larger flower buds and much more nutrients for growing power.

Purchase early while the choice is greatest, but wait to plant your bulbs until October, when the ground is cooler yet still warm enough for the bulbs to root out and hydrate. (Bulbs implanted in too warm soil may abort their flower buds) Meanwhile, save your bulbs in a cool, dark place, like a basement cupboard. As soon as they’re implanted, keep bulbs moist during the winter, watering monthly whenever needed.

Leslie Ebert

Fix your irrigation clock. Lawns require less water as summer winds down. Though soil conditions, sun exposure and turf types must be taken into consideration, your lawn will require only about half as much water in September as it did in July.

Gardener’s Supply Company

GardenQuilt Cover – $12.95

Be prepared for frost. September brings the first freeze — or snow! — to many Rocky Mountain gardens, and nobody wants to observe a great crop of basil or a beautiful container garden turned into mush overnight.

Maintain white sheets or industrial frost blankets convenient; lightweight, breathable and reusable shouts are just the thing to have available to drape over your annual blossoms and tender veggies when frost threatens. The light shade lets sunlight in for photosynthesis and also traps solar heat for continuing plant and fruit growth. Multiple layers provide even higher insulating material.

More: Guides for your Rocky Mountains garden

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