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Blog: Bring the Outdoors In with a Fall Cutting Garden

Summer is quickly coming to an end. As we say goodbye to summer blooms, we get to welcome beautiful autumn flowers like mums, sunflowers, pansies, and more! If you’re looking to add some fall decor to your home, bringing your garden inside from a cutting garden is a great way to add a pop of color and change things up for fall.

 

Put together a cutting garden that is personalized to you and the colors that will make you happy. Don’t worry about whether or not the plants “go together.” Get creative! Here are some of the best autumn blooms for bouquets that are vibrant and trendy.

 

  1. Sunflowers

    While most people typically picture golden-toned, dark-centered sunflowers, there are actually a few varieties to choose from when planning your cutting garden! For example, Bashful sunflowers have a salmon pink ring on the petals, and Little Becka sunflowers have deep red in their petals. Whichever variety you choose, keep autumn colors in mind. If you’re hoping to create a bouquet, pollen-free varieties are best.
  2. Oakleaf Hydrangea

    Oakleaf hydrangeas bloom in either pink or white, and the leaves turn beautiful shades of orange and red in the fall. It’s very important to plant oakleaf hydrangeas in well-draining soil, as they could get root rot. If you’re including them in a bouquet, harvest the stems when half of the blooms have opened.
  3. Dahlias

    While dahlias flower throughout the summer, warm days and chilly nights allow them to produce more flowers in more vivid colors in the fall. Plant dahlias in full sun and in a rich soil. Fertilize with Holly-tone for deep, vibrant, blooms. Whether you prefer pink, red, orange, or yellow, dahlias can make a great addition to your cutting garden.

 

Getting started:

  1. Choosing a Spot for Your Garden

    The size of your garden space really depends on the types of plants you’re growing, so you can choose plants that will be able to thrive in the space you have available. Regardless of size, make sure the spot is sunny and well-drained! If you’re really short on space, utilize the space between rows in your vegetable garden.
  2. Planning

    Make sure your garden site meets the sun exposure and growing condition requirements listed on the plant tags. For easy cutting and collecting, leave some space in between plants.
  3. Preparing

    Set your garden up for success by working Bio-tone Starter Plus into the soil before planting. To make sure your plants aren’t competing with any weeds for resources, clear your soil in advance.
  4. Planting

    Plant seeds or seedlings about an inch into loose soil. For best results, water your flowers weekly and regularly fertilize with Espoma’s Flower-tone!

Once your plants start to bloom, start cutting! The more you cut, the more the plants will flower. Happy fall, and happy gardening!

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How to Prepare Your Garden for the Winter Season

Winter is afoot! With the nights becoming chilly, now is the time to start thinking about what to do with your garden until springtime. Soon enough soil will freeze and many plants will stop growing or die. But there are steps you can take to preserve what you have! Read on to find out how to prepare your garden and save any vegetables you might’ve been growing.

 

 

 

1. Take care of your root crops

 

If you have root crops like carrots, beets, or turnips in your garden, you’re in luck! These require less maintenance because they are able to stay inside the ground after a frost. However, make sure you’re taking them out before the ground freezes over or they may die. Some root crops like parsnips even taste better when kept buried in near freezing weather for 2 to 4 weeks!

 

 

2. What to do with your leafy greens

 

If you’ve been following us for a while and took our advice in August to plant these leafy vegetables, you now get to reap the rewards! It’s time to harvest those sweet greens for some fresh homemade salads and dishes. If you’re willing to wait a little bit, veggies like kale and collards get sweeter with a little light frost. Cabbages and Swiss chard can handle the frost, if you want to harvest them all at once, but their outer covering may get a little damaged. Lettuces, however, cannot withstand the cold. Take them out before the frost hits.

 

 

3. Reduce irrigation

 

If you’re someone who has their sprinklers on overnight or all hours of the day, we have some good news! You can lower the use of sprinklers if you’re in a warmer weather and stop it altogether if you’re in a cooler weather. Now you can save your water usage and lower your water bill without compromising the quality of your lawn. Win-win!

 

 

4. Herbs for winter

 

Herbs may seem like very delicate plants that would be unlikely to survive winter, but that’s not true! Herbs like sage, thyme and chives are hardy perennials that will survive the harsh weather with no problem. Some other herbs like rosemary and basil need to be dug up and brought inside where they will happily continue to grow.

 

 

5. Preparing the soil for spring

 

Preparing your soil in advance will make your work much easier come spring. Adding things like compost, manure, bone meal, and kelp will add nutrients to your soil and keep it healthy until spring. You can start working on it right as spring comes instead of having to fill it up with nutrients and wait for them to get incorporated! Add a layer of organic mulch for extra protection from winter rains and keeping your enriched soil safe.

Winter doesn’t have to mean everything dies until the spring! Taking the proper precautions and using the right products can help keep your favorite herbs and veggies growing throughout the colder months. Get started on these steps while the weather is still mild — and if you haven’t already, make sure you’re also caring for your tools and keeping them safe from the icy cold.

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