Author Linda Cobb
Master Gardener Linda Cobb

Linda Cobb is a garden writer and certified Master Gardener who lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She is the author of My Gardener's Guide: Easy Steps to a Better Garden.

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Our Garden by Linda Cobb

Our Garden in Fall 2013

Now is the time to plant those bulbs out into the garden for next spring, enjoy the blooming dahlias and Chrysanthemum shefield pink. It is also time to order up the amaryllis for christmas

One of the most spectacular fall plants that no garden should be without is chrysanthemum Sheffield pink.  Unlike it’s stiff relative, this plant will spill itself out into great sweeps of silver dollar sized pale pink daisy like flowers with a sweet yellow center.  One cannot have too much of this plant.  Sheffield pink will last and last, loving any sunny location, and weaving itself through the landscape.

In preparation for the fall show of flowers, try growing some of the huge dahlias that are grown from tubers.  Dahlias are planted in May and June each year.  They begin to grow and flower usually from July on towards frost.  They actually require very little care, but they do need staking, like tomatoes.  One tuber, which resembles a small baked potato, is planted on its side about 6 inches below the surface.  Resist watering these tubers until they have a show of leaves above the ground.  Then stake them, water, and fertilize them.  By mid July you will have a dozen dinner plate size flowers in almost every color imaginable.  Each tuber costs about $7.00 and will bloom from July until November.  You can order tubers online very easily at dahlias.com ( Swan Island Dahlias). 

November and December is the beginning of the rest period for some of us gardeners.  It is also the time of year that I read up and learn about as many new things as possible.  I will spend this month reading some of the back issues of magazines that I have not had time to read during gardening season.  After I am finished with the magazines, next is my list of books that I want to read. 

It is time to set out those wonderful pansies, violas, and snap dragons.  Pot up a few large pots full of pansies and violas.  Add some parsley and creeping jenny to the pot and water it well.  Your porch will look more welcoming if it has some cheery winter flowers to greet your guests.  A large bed of decorative kale or cabbage will look wonderful and last through until the first sings of spring.  Remember to feed the violas, pansies, and snap dragons with some blossom booster fertilizer.  Follow the directions on the package and feed them every two weeks.  Your pansies will be the best on the block.

You should be planting all of the spring flowering bulbs now after storing them in the refrigerator, in the crisp-it section for at least three weeks.  Clean up the remains of any spent annuals and perennials.  Replace them with some mustard, chard, and decorative cabbages.  Prune away any dead or dying limbs from existing shrubs around the garden.  Now is the time to take inventory of what is around the garden.  Think about adding some conifers and evergreens to carry the garden over through winter.  It would not hurt to add an extra layer of mulch to the garden.  This will insulate your plants from any bitter cold spells. 

Posted by Linda on Sep 25, 2013

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