The autumn season is almost upon us and we often think that gardening will settle down because the beautiful flowers of the spring and summer will soon be withering away.
This is further from the truth and there is no need to pack away your pruning shears and fertilizers just yet.
There are a few types of flowers that you can plant that will be perfect for the fall and even flower during the winter months.
I am going to talk about 2 such flowers: mums and pansies.
The chrysanthemum, or mum, can come in 1 of two types: hardy and florist.
You obviously need to purchase the hardy type of these and this is what is most common in nurseries.
Mums originated in China and have often been used in teas and medicines for hundreds of years.
Today, we often think of these flowers as purely to look at and these are a great choice for fall and spring months. These flowers will lie dormant in the winter and it is in this time that you will need to properly mulch these in order for these to be healthy and alive during the spring bloom.
When conditions are right, these mums will bloom in the fall and be equally as beautiful in the following spring month when other flowers are blooming.
Even though these are often brought to stores for retail during the late summer, you need to try to buy these as soon as possible to ensure that their roots are ready for the long winter freezes.
Mums need to be planted in well draining regions of your lawn. When you first plant them, make sure to water them on a daily basis as the roots often get bound up in the pot and dry up a bit. It is also very important for those living in the North to buy these in the spring, if possible and mulch before the first freeze.
To mulch these properly, you will need an average of at least 5″ in height. Cut up leaves are a great mulching ingredient for these flowers and also a great way to use those fall rakings. Pine needles will also work.
You will need to prune mums when they reach 6″ in height and this will cause new branches to grow. You do not really need any special equipment as just pinching them off with your fingers will work well.
All fall flowers will need good quality soil. Even if you think your soil is moist enough as has a good amount of nutrients to sustain flowers, it is always a good idea to add manure or compost to the soil before planting.
Pansies are another fantastic pick for fall flowers.
When I think of a pansy, I often think of spring flowers, but if taken care of in the right manner, pansies can last during the fall, winter, and once again bloom in the spring.
You will need to plant pansies early so that their roots will be strong and deep for the winter freezes.
You will also need to remember to mulch all flowers at least 2 inches during the fall months to ensure a longer life span and more blooms in other seasons.
Pansies need partial shade and well drained soil as well.
There is no need to grow from seeds because pansies are so readily available in the stores at a low cost, but if you choose to, the seeds will germinate at around 2 weeks if the temperatures are around 70 degrees, but no lower than 65 degrees.
If you are starting from seed, you will need to know that they will need to be covered from the sun.
You will need to pick medium blooms and fertilize these flowers on a regular basis. These flowers can also be planted in raised beds if you do not have good soil drainage.
Because fall flowers often re-bloom in the spring months, it is a good idea to plant various bulbs during this time. Shrubs and trees can also be planted in the fall months well before the first planned freeze of winter.
Most bulbs need to be planted in the fall in order to bloom in the spring.
Some good examples of bulbs are tulips, daffodils, and crocus flowers.
With so many options of fall blooming flowers and other plants and shrubs to start for next year’s spring bloom, you can be certain that you will be spending plenty of time in the garden during the autumn and winter seasons.