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Planting Ideas For Autumn

Planting Ideas

Late autumn and early winter is a crucial time for your garden, particularly if you hope to improve or enhance it come springtime. Here are some reminders to help lay the groundwork now for a beautiful and healthy garden in the seasons to come, including how to treat plants that best flourish indoors during the colder months. 

Outside Interests:

  • Completely remove from your garden all weeds that are either flowering or have gone to seed. (In other words, resist using them as mulch, which will ratchet-up the amount of weeding youíll need to do come spring.)
  • Improve your soil composition by adding plenty of organic matter like manure, grass clippings, shredded or decaying leaves, compost and shredded vegetables. This will increase the soilís water-holding capacity, improve drainage, boost its oxygen capacity and supply crucial nutrients.
  • Using a pitchfork or spade, gently loosen any exposed soil that has been packed-down over the course of the summer.

Inside Job: Dos and Doníts             

  • Over-winter tropical plants (such as hibiscus, oleander and Mandevilla vine) that were growing well in outdoor container gardens in fairer weather need to be brought indoors before the first frost. Dig them up carefully to get as much of the root as possible. Remember to choose a good size pot and prune the plants moderately before you bring them indoors. (While youíre sourcing larger pots, this could be a good time to repot any houseplants that have roots starting to grow outside the pot. Orchids are the exception to this rule).
  • Before the plants come inside, repot in fresh potting soil and spray with a homemade solution of soapy water to ward off mites. Mix at a rate of 1 to 2 tablespoons liquid soap to 1 quart water.
  • Place your repotted plants in or near a sunny window. However, avoid heating pads: these could fool the plant into thinking itís in a different climate and it may not be able to withstand the winter weather. (For the very same reason, resist the temptation to install a UV lamp.)
  • Remember to water your plants every other day, or whenever the soil begins to feel dry. When watering, also spray a fine mist on the leaves to increase humidity and to emulate summer outdoor conditions as closely as possible.
  • Since winter is a dormant time for most plants, fertilizer use isnít encouraged.
  • Remember, your repotted plants are adapting to new (albeit temporary) surroundings, so never leave them unattended for long, in case new conditions affect them adversely.

SOURCE: 2008 American Home Shield Corporation and its licensed subsidiaries. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

 

 
 
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