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Ideas for Your Early Autumn Landscape: Prune and Grow Up

By Melvin Lapp October 19, 2017

Your summer blooms are faded and you're looking to add more color to your landscape. Maybe time slipped away and you neglected to plant some of those perennials you wanted to grow. There's still plenty of room so get planting now. Mild autumn temperatures are perfect for growing new blooms. You don't want to crowd those flowering beds that only need a refreshing trim. A perfect solution when planting in fall is to grow up. Vertical planting displays your blooms at a different angle.

The additional rainfall we see in early autumn along with lower temperatures makes it easier for new plantings to settle in and take off. And, depending on where you live, there are several weeks or even months until freezing temperatures disrupt our bloom cycle. You'll find lower prices at the local nursery or home improvement store's garden center this time of year.

Caring for Newly Purchased Plants

Plants at discounted prices often need some pruning and a dose of fertilizer. In some cases, a thorough soaking will get them back on track. As always, when bringing new plants into your landscape, keep them secluded for a few days. Check for hitchhiking pests, pot into a larger container and water well. Prune off dead foliage and spent blooms. Then decide where they will brighten your yard. Wait until they're planted to fertilize with a liquid plant food high in potassium, such as the bloom buster brands.

Twining Vertical Vines

Your findings at the nursery might include vining plants, such as clematis, passion-flower, and sweet potato vine. These are easily trained to grow up, on a trellis or over an arching arbor, adding a different dimension to your beds. Morning glory creeps up as well, with beautiful blooms until frost. The delicate moon flower opens in the evening, climbing and providing a sweet fragrance when flowers slowly unfurl, a spectacular sight to see. When grown as annuals, you might be surprised next year when seeds dropped this year sprout and bloom.

Climbing jasmine vines offer fragrance and beautiful blooms, as well. Many vines grow from seeds, or you can find them with the discounted plants at the garden center. Once you get them out of their container confinement, you'll be amazed at how quickly they grow. Trumpet vine and Wisteria offer abundant foliage and bountiful blossoms, as well, but use care when planting these potentially invasive kinds of plants. You may find that the pruning and care it takes to keep these under control usurps more time than you wanted to spend on them. If you want to give them a try, grow them in planter boxes or a planter with an attached trellis so you don't end up spending too much time on them next year and in years to come.

Think Spring: Blooming Bulbs & More

While you're planting and rejuvenating the garden, go ahead and plant some of those spring-blooming bulbs and plants. Tulips, crocus and the many varieties of daffodil all benefit from the winter chill. Plant different types of lilies now too. In spring, you'll be happy to see the variety of color, sometimes pushing up through the snow. Hellebores are late winter bloomers. Add a few of these evergreen perennials into your partially shaded bare spots.

If you're so inclined, plant some seeds now for spring flowers next year. Fill a planter box with mixed ornamental seeds. The rambunctious climber Snapdragon blooms early too, so add a few of those seeds in planters holding your climbing vines. And, anytime now, plant the cool season Pansy, Viola, and Calendula. Flowering kale and cabbage add cool-season color to planters and beds. Take advantage of cooler days to enliven the garden, for now, and seasons to come.


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