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Fall-What’s Not To Love?

What’s my favorite season? Easy peasy. FALL. Jacket wearing, college football cheering, leaf rustling, turkey roasting, Halloween mini-Snickers sneaking—Fall!

This lovely autumnal season is so much more than pulling up summer-scorched annuals and popping in mums for a few weeks.  At a time when northern gardeners are closing up shop for the winter, Texas gardeners have realized that the fall months may very well be the best time of the year to plant.

Think about it.  A Sweet Innocent Perennial you might plant in the spring is just being lined up for the furnace blast of summer from late May through August.  It’s hard to even survive—much less thrive–in temperatures in the 100s, no rainfall, and nighttime lows that hover in the 80s.  But if you’re a savvy gardener and plant that same Sweet Innocent in the fall, you’ve tucked it in when the future holds cooling temperatures and more frequent rain.  Voila.  Plant Success.

Most plants will put on a fall flush of growth and bloom in fall weather conditions.  Roses can be spectacular in the fall, often with blooms more vibrant than spring or summer.  Trim roses back now, fertilize, and give a deep soaking to promote bloom.

Raised Bed with carrots, radish seeds and trowel

If you’re planting a fall school garden with kids, it’s time to get busy.  If you want a warm season garden, plant bush beans and pinto beans by seed until September 15.  Be sure to baby your seeds; they need to be kept moist until they sprout and are established. 

Dallas County Master Gardeners Busy With Fall Gardening

Fall is Prime Time for cool season crops, those vegetables that love a nip in the air in November and December.  Plant beets, spinach, lettuce, and carrots by seed now through October 15.  Kids love transplants; they’re veggies in miniature.  Plant broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower transplants now through late-November.  Mustard greens, Swiss chard, spinach, parsley, leeks and kale transplants can be tucked in the garden from September 15 through the winter.  (Harvest your warmer season crops in late October, then plant cole transplants for a continued harvest.)

Spring flowering bulbs can be a fun thing to plant with kids.  Purchase your bulbs now when nurseries start stocking bulbs, but wait on planting them until soil temperatures cool significantly, for us in mid- to late-November.  Daffodils are probably your best bet with kids.  They are dependable, don’t require pre-chilling (like tulips), and some will naturalize.  The Southern Bulb Co. in Golden, Texas  is known for propagating old varieties of bulbs, often found in deserted homesteads. 

The best reason to garden in the fall is to enjoy it.  Your garden is filled with new blooms and growth.  Pests have taken a vacation with the cool temperatures.  So nibble a bit of early Halloween candy and enjoy the season.

Elizabeth

August Blooms In Dallas

The Earth-Kind® WaterWise Demonstration Garden is blooming even through August.

Fourteen out of twenty days in August have been over 100°.  To maximize our water usage, we have set up drip irrigation in all our beds and we water this garden and others  with rainwater harvested from our large shed with 5,000 square feet of metal roofing.  Usually we don’t get enough rain for our drip system in the latter part of summer and have to revert to city water, but last week we had about 4 inches of rain at the garden!  What didn’t go into our two 2500 gallon cisterns swished into our rain garden for more capture. 

Most of these pictures were taken from our newly planted Color Wheel garden.  Link back to the * July Bloom report so that you also know what was blooming in August in the rest of our gardens. Combine these plant lists to keep your garden flourishing through the summer.

Read the list of blooms clockwise from the  large, top left picture.

Flowers Blooming in August Dallas Gardens

1. Pink Gomphrena and Cuphea 2. Gomphrena Fireworks, Gomphrena globosa ‘Fireworks’ 3. Periwinkle-Cora Vinca blackberry, Catharanthus roseus 4. Hot Pink Moss Rose Portulaca olerancea ‘Samba Hot Pink’  5. Jewels of Opar, Talinum paniculatum 6. Moss Rose, Portulaca olerancea 7. Trailing Lantana, Lantana montevidensis 8. Yellow Zinnia

Flowers Blooming In Dallas August Gardens

1. White Lantana and white coneflower 2. Orange Zinnia 3. Mexican Petunia-Lavendar, Ruellia brittonia 4. Lafter, Buck Rose 5. Mexican Bush Sage, Salvia leucantha 6. Orange Lantana, Lantana horrida (camara) 7. Bell Flower,  Campanula rotundifolia  8. Gregg’s Mist Flower, Eupatorium greggii

Flowers For Dallas Summer Gardens

1. Salvia coccineas with  Cora Vinca 2. Pink gomphrena, Gomphreana globosa 3.                       4. Red Gomphrena, Gomphrena aageana ‘Strawberry Fields’ 5. Summer Poinsettia or Mexican Fire Plant, Euphorbia cyathophora 7. Sunflower, Helianthus annus

Flowers Blooming In August In Dallas

1. Mexican Honeysuckle, Justica spicigera 2. Pearlie Mae, Buck Rose 3. Onion Chives 4. Maggie 5. Althea, Hibiscus syriacus ‘Helene’ 6. Esperanza or Yellow Bells, Tecoma stans 7. Canna-dwarf-Tropical Series 8. Quietness, Buck Rose

*Refer to the July Blooms report . Only  Phlox #11,Autumn Sage #16, and Salvia guaranatica#21 are taking a break and not blooming in August.  All the rest on the July list are giving us that last bit of summer pleasure.

Ann

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