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Tullip Bulbs

Fall Planting for Spring Color

It's just beginning to feel like fall, and winter is around the corner... so why are we talking about spring?! Well, fall is the perfect time to plant spring-flowering bulbs ~ like tulips, daffodils, crocuses & hyacinth. While it may seem odd to plant bulbs now, the reason is that spring-flowering bulbs need time to develop a solid root system before winter sets in.

A flower bulb is really an underground storehouse and flower factory. Within the bulb is just about everything the plant will need to sprout and flower at the appropriate time. All bulbs need is to be planted in the ground at the appropriate season of the year, given liberal water, and then sit back and let Mother Nature do the rest!

Nothing is more satisfying than planting dormant brown bulbs in autumn and watching them emerge in late winter or early spring with their fresh green shoots and colorful flowers. In order to take advantage of many spring favorites, their bulbs should be planted in the fall after the first frost (typically around October 15th in Hampton Roads). Bulbs require a long period of cool temperatures in order to bloom. It's vital to get bulbs planted before the ground freezes, so they can develop a strong root system.

Now's the time to start planning and purchasing bulbs, so you will be ready to pop them in the ground as cooler weather sets in. So, make a small investment in planting spring bulbs in the fall, and you'll be greeted with cheery early blooms come spring. And remember, fall bulbs can also be forced indoors, for beautiful color indoors.

For more on planting spring bulbs in fall click here.

Ornamental Pepper Onyx Red

Ornamental peppers are a great addition to the late summer and early fall garden. With foliage of varying shades, the real shining star of ornamental peppers is the fruit it bears in assorted, vibrant colors that are available in many shapes and sizes. This annual is an exceptionally versatile plant- use them in mass plantings, pots and hanging baskets, or simply welcoming guests to your front door.

If you are looking to add a pop of color to your fall garden, look no further than Onyx Red. Its attractive compact, branching habit, bold dark foliage and shiny red fruit along with its outstanding performance earned an All-America Selections award. Plants are heat tolerant, vigorous growers that retain their neat, compact habit, making Onyx Red a wonderful addition in beds, borders, containers and dramatic mass plantings.

The Fall Veggie Garden

The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of vegetable gardening. Cooler weather makes gardening more enjoyable and there are less insects to bug you. Actually, frost tends to improve the flavor of many cool weather crops. And, an added benefit is that many of these plants are visually pleasing in your yard, giving your landscape a boost in appearance.

To get started, we’ve compiled a few easy steps for fall veggie garden success.

  1. Prepare the Soil.
    Start from the bottom up to really have success. We suggest turning over the soil as one of the most important steps. This process aerates and mixes soil components.
  2. Fertilize with Compost.
    When fertilizing a vegetable garden, organic fertilizers are recommended. They consist of natural, organic material such as forest products, vegetable waste and animal manure. It can be purchased in bags, bulk, or made at home. McDonald Compost (sold in bag or bulk) will do the trick!
  3. Plant Your Garden.
    Dig the hole a bit larger than the plant’s root ball, place the plant in it, and firm the soil around the roots to the level of the surrounding soil. Water to eliminate air pockets and provide moisture to the root system.
  4. Water & Weed Regularly.
    Be sure your veggie garden receives water and you remove the weeds so that the weeds are not competing with the nutrients your plants need to perform their best.

Check out this list of cole crops that will flourish until frost arrives.