Friday, September 06, 2013

GMG's Friday Find: 5 Tips to Energize Late-Season Gardens

As summer comes to a close, gardeners across the country are delighting in every blossom before the change in seasons. Fortunately, you can plant now to ensure another burst of color in the garden before the trees turn color and the mums come out.

If you're wondering what to do to invigorate your yard and garden, Doug Jimerson, a garden editor and expert from Costa Farms advises, "The key to late-season planting is to cover all your bases, from color to structure."   Most garden centers still have a hardy supply of perennials to choose from, and probably at a late season cost reduction.  Here are 5 tips to help you achieve the pop you want by planting these late-bloomers.

Late-Blooming Perennials Add Color
Adding a late-blooming perennial to your garden now helps to carry the color forward well into the fall.  Choose from: New England aster, sedum, Russian sage, hyssop, black-eyed Susan, daylily, butterfly bush and phlox.

Ornamental Grasses Add Structure
Ornamental grasses are ideal candidates for late season planting. These airy beauties are at their best this time of year, sending up spectacular flower spikes that you can leave in place for added texture during the cold, dreary months of winter. Try switch grass, fountain grass, muhly grass and maiden grass. 

Groundcovers Solve Problems
Perk up any hard to plant location with groundcovers.  These low-growing charmers are a snap to grow, and over time will spread to beautify barren areas of your yard.  For quick coverage results plant groundcovers 6 to 10 inches apart.  The top pick groundcovers are: hens and chicks, creeping phlox, creeping sedum, ice plant and mondo grass.

Plan Your Location
Always read the plant label to see what light requirements are needed.  Sun lovers prefer a spot that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily.  If your location gets less than 6 hours, look for perennials that prefer or tolerate partial sun instead.

Water, Mulch and Enjoy
Once your perennials are in the ground, water them every few days, especially if Indian Summer brings hot and dry weather for a finale.  Spread a thick mulch of shredded bark around the base of your new plantings to help keep them hydrated while they get adjusted to their new home.

The only thing left to do is revel in the final days and colors of summertime.  Happy Late-Season Planting!

Garden Media Group

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