The warm days and cool nights of autumn offer the perfect time to plant wildflowers. Fall plantings mimic the natural lifecycle when flowers begin to fade, produce seed and drop that seed onto the ground.
|Photo courtesy of American Meadows|
To encourage fall planting, American Meadows created an exclusive wildflower mix called Fall Maximum Wildflower Seed Mix. The company began formulating this seed mix about 10 years ago, and it quickly became a customer favorite for fall seeding. Featuring a minimum of 35 different annual and perennial species, the mix is ‘tweaked’ each year based on customer feedback on what grows well and what flowers gardeners prefer. The Fall Maximum Wildflower Seed Mix is 100% pure flower seed that is lab tested to ensure the highest quality seeds.
This year’s Fall Max Mix contains 36 different annual and perennial species. It will provide annual color in the first growing season from favorites such as Papaver rhoeas (Red Poppy), Gaillardia (Indian Blanket), Tropaelum (Nasturtium), Lobularia (Sweet Alyssum) and Cosmos (Sensation Mix and Sulphur). A nice assortment of perennials including Chrysanthemum (Daisy), Echinacea (Purple Coneflower), Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan) and Lupinus (Perennial Lupine) provide non-stop color in the second and successive seasons. A half-pound package of Fall Maximum Wildflower Seed Mix, which covers 1,000-1,500 square feet, sells for $14.95 from www.AmericanMeadows.com. For helpful tips for a successful fall wildflower planting, visit Fall Is For Wildflowers.
Fall is a great time to plant a Paw Paw tree, too!
The Paw Paw is an attractive ornamental tree with a distinctive look that will have your neighbors turning their heads as they try to identify it. Although a Paw Paw looks like a tropical tree, it is actually native to the eastern USA. But the little-known fruits are what make a Paw Paw tree a landscape star.
|Photo courtesy of Nature Hills Nursery|
In spring, a Paw Paw produces one-inch-wide, purple, bell-shaped flowers. These delightful blooms develop into green fruits that mature to a yellow or brownish color in September or October. The fruit can best be described as an enormous berry 3-6 inches long that’s shaped like a stubby banana. Inside is the edible flesh that has a custard-like consistency. The unique taste has been described as a cross between a mango, melon and banana with accents of vanilla or pineapple. Chilled Paw Paw fruit was a favorite of George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson planted Paw Paw trees at Monticello, his home in Virginia.
Paw Paw trees can tolerate cold temperatures down to -25 degrees F. The mature trees reach up to 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Paw Paw trees are available for $49.95 each from www.naturehills.com.
Don’t let insect pests hitchhike indoors
|Photo courtesy of Summit Responsible Solutions|
Many homeowners bring potted plants indoors before freezing temperatures arrive. Growing tender perennials and tropical plants in pots enables them to be enjoyed outdoors during the summer and inside throughout winter’s colder months. But sometimes potted plants bring with them unwanted hitchhikers—insect pests that can thrive in the warms confines of sunrooms and sunny windowsills.
To make sure that unwanted aphids and other insect pests don’t take over your potted plants, spray them with Summit Year-Round® Spray Oil, a lightweight horticultural oil that controls insect pests on even the most sensitive plants. Summit Year-Round® Spray Oil can be used any time during the year because it won’t harm plant buds, shoots and leaves. The spray is an environmentally responsible, organic insecticide that kills a wide variety of insect pests including aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, mealybugs, scale, thrips, fungus gnats, certain caterpillars, leaf beetle larvae, lace bugs and others.
Summit Year-Round® Spray Oil is available in a mix-it-yourself concentrate bottle and as a ready-to-use, one quart spray bottle. It is available at garden centers, hardware stores and online at www.amazon.com.
Grow salad greens indoors
|Photo courtesy of The Garden Patch|
The GrowBox™ planter was designed for busy people who want to grow fresh salad greens or vegetables without all the work of a conventional garden. Each GrowBox™ system includes the patented Nutrient Patch™ cover that automatically adds fertilizer as the plants need it and a cut-out planting guide that shows you exactly where and what to plant. Inside the planter, a 4-gallon water well adds water at the correct rate so plants never dry out. The entire system can be set-up and growing in about 15 minutes.
A GrowBox™ in the new designer colors (Cauliflower, Celery, Eggplant and Lime) sells for $37.95. The classic colors (Terra Cotta and Dark Green) are $29.95. The GrowBox™ planters are available on the web at www.AGardenPatch.com or by calling 1-800-519-1955.