This time of year we get a lot of people anxious for a change in their gardens and a fresh look. Each year we always have our fall crop of perennials, chrysanthemums, pansies, flowering kale, winter vegetables, and more ready to change over your gardens from summer to fall.
Establishing a new crop in your flower beds and vegetable gardens can often be tricky in the fall because of the varying day and night temperatures. We can often have stretches of hot days mixed with cool nights which can make watering challenging, especially when you have established plants mixed with newly planted ones. Typically plants will not need as much water now as they did in the summer months. Even when the days are hot remember that the nights are longer and tend to be much cooler which allows the soil to retain the moisture much better. For freshly planted material make sure to water it in good after transplanting and then water as needed until they’re established. For your beds or garden areas that still have summer plants in them you can likely cut back on your watering for the same reason in that the soil is retaining the water more now than it was just a few weeks prior.
Cabbage worms can be a major pest for fall gardeners. The adult butterflies lay eggs on cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and other members of the cabbage family. When you see the little white butterflies in your garden realize they are likely laying eggs on the underside of cabbage plants. A little damage from the cabbage worm isn’t going to hurt your crop so there’s no need to panic if you see a hole or two. The only time it’s really a problem is when the plants are young or forming heads. Young plants with very few leaves can be damaged quickly and plants that are beginning to develop heads may be damaged enough to affect yield. Two good methods of control are either covering the plants with row covers to prevent the butterflies laying eggs on the plants or applying Bt every 1-2 weeks.
We will have a fall planting class on September 8th. The focus of the class is to talk about what to plant now for both flowerbeds and gardens. It’s a great chance to get together, share ideas and get inspired to change over from summer to fall. The class is free however registration is required so make sure and call to reserve a spot.