Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fall is for Planting???

Fall is a terrific time to plant trees, shrubs, perennials and cold hardy annuals. The idea is that cooler temperatures reduce stress (mostly heat and drought) and gives plants the opportunity to become well-established before winter temps set in. But – when is fall? I mean one day it’s 90° outside and next (in the matter of hours) it is 40°. Oh – and by the way, you better be prepared to plant because typically, it’s only a day or 2 before the thermometer is back up to 90° again. Fall is definitely a moving target along the Upper Texas Gulf Coast.

That being said we finally decided it was time to plant our fall annuals, despite the fact it was still pretty warm out.  As I’ve mention in previous postings, we have a small yard – so there wasn’t a whole lot of planting to do. We set out a nice row of 4” Violas (Johnny Jump-Ups) along our front walkway – then crossed our fingers that we’d get a little rain and temps would cool off some. We got lucky and hit a good stretch of cool/wet weather that helped these plants get established.

Here’s a link to some additional information on Seasonal Color – Care & Management

I also applied a complete fertilizer after planting. A “complete” fertilizer is one that contains all 3 of the “macronutrients,” Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (N-P-K).  I see/read in a lot of gardening articles about using Bone Meal at planting. Bone Meal is an organic fertilizer that has a nutrient ratio of (approximately) 4-12-0. Low in nitrogen and high in phosphorus. The idea is that flowering plants need “extra” P and Bone Meal is just the ticket. Problem is – since phosphorus is relatively insoluble, most landscape soils are already high in P. Adding more than is needed can actually limit the availability of other important plant nutrients and the use of high phosphorous fertilizers in no longer recommended.

PS - My Coral Vine FINALLY began blooming after sitting all summer long without a single flower. It really looks nice along the fence and arbor entry.

No comments: