Category Archives: Fall

Cover It Up!

Cover Crops; repaying the soil for the benefits we reap

You may think that as the gardening season is winding down that it’s time to sit back and enjoy the harvest. Think again!

Consider the age old practice of planting a cover crop, which has been around throughout agricultural history. Many home gardeners assume that planting a cover crop is something that only farmers do. Not true! You too can grow more vigorous plants, harvest more fruit, pull fewer weeds and introduce beneficial insects to your garden plot with a small investment of your time and treasure. Let’s face it; one of the keys to having a successful home garden depends on good soil quality, and repeatedly growing plants year after year simply wears the soil out! Continue reading Cover It Up!

Thanksgiving Décor from Nature

If you’re short on time and funds, or just have a serious disinterest in plastic pumpkins and turkeys that you have to store for 11 months, Mother Nature can give you a Thanksgiving décor assist. If you have a
yard or garden you can gather supplies right outside your door, but plenty of materials can be found at the farmer’s market and produce sections for little money. Additional items can be scavenged from the
autumn debris at a local park. So you don’t get carted to jail for “shopping” at the park; be mindful of what and how you glean.

Once you get back to the dining table, mantle or sideboard, keep your arrangements simple and use a mix of forms, colors and textures for quick, eye pleasing displays. A bright, white birch branch down the
center of the table with fallen leaves and colorful gourds and/or apples, in random clusters along each side, is a perfect example. Three mini pumpkins, some acorns and a chunky candle work well for a
smaller space and can be given a more polished looked by placing them on a decorative tray or cloth napkin. For a bit more drama and vertical interest – use twiggy branches, single or multiple, in bottles or
vases set amongst your arrangements or on their own. For a nod to the cornucopia tradition, tip a basket on its side and arrange autumn fruit and forage in a colorful tumble from within.

Suggested Materials:

  • Pinecones & Acorns
  • Dried Flower & Seed heads
  • Leaves
  • Twigs and Branches
  • Pumpkins, Squash, Gourds, Indian Corn
  • Apples, Pears, Grapes
  • Bottles, Vases, Baskets
  • Platters, Cloth Napkins, Table Runners
  • Candles

Gardening for the Birds

A Partnership in Growing Greener

Gardening with birds in mind is a great way to bring additional beauty and balance to your growing space. These winged wonders not only help with pollination and spreading of seeds, but offer chemical-free insect control as well. Adding a few site-matched Native varieties (more green points!) to your plantings will help ensure your garden supports, and gets support from, a diversity of local birds. Continue reading Gardening for the Birds

Autumn Jack-o-Lanterns

For many of us, the crisp days of autumn mean a bounty of pumpkins for carving jack-o-lanterns or baking scrumptious pies along with the ingathering of all the other fruits of our labor. But for countless backyard gardeners, autumn is the time to ‘strut their stuff’ before the crowds that gather time again, at local or even national pumpkin growing contests, to see who has grown the most gigantic pumpkin to take home the prize. Continue reading Autumn Jack-o-Lanterns

Grow ‘em BIG

In pursuit of growing a ‘Prizewinning Pumpkin’

For many of us, the crisp days of autumn mean a bounty of pumpkins for carving jack-o-lanterns or baking scrumptious pies along with the ingathering of all the other fruits of our labor. But for countless backyard gardeners, autumn is the time to ‘strut their stuff’ before the crowds that gather time again, at local or even national pumpkin growing contests, to see who has grown the most gigantic pumpkin to take home the prize. If you ask any competitive grower what it takes to grow a huge pumpkin, they’ll sound off three key points: “Good seed, Good soil and Good fortune”. Continue reading Grow ‘em BIG

Are You Out of Your Gourd?

If you love to grow vegetables, but find you can never eat all your garden yields, here’s an alternative to researching new recipes in anticipation of your millionth tomato. Grow some decorative gourds in place of a portion of your usual edible veggies. Decorative gourds have potential as centerpieces, serving bowls, storage containers, birdhouses, and a wide range of children’s craft projects. Continue reading Are You Out of Your Gourd?

Acorns Driving You Nuts?

Try This Tool for Quick Acorn Clean Up!

Anyone who has a mature Oak on their property knows that it’s a love-hate relationship with this tree. The mess dropped from the spring flowers is easy enough to clean up with light raking and mowing, but acorns in the fall are another story. Oaks are beautiful trees and provide so much richness to the landscape, if only there were some magical way to keep the love alive for this species when their constant messiness challenges a gardener to just put an end to it all. Continue reading Acorns Driving You Nuts?

Fall is for Planting

Autumn is a wonderful time for planting in the landscape or container garden: temperatures are more moderate, soil moisture is easier to maintain, root growth increases in most trees and shrubs, it’s easier to see where empty or lacking places are than in spring and we plant tenders have caught our second wind! Spring flowering bulbs, perennials (including the classic Mum) and trees and shrubs thrive when planted in the fall. Continue reading Fall is for Planting