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Monthly Tips

"We are very happy about the quality of work done starting from the planning and consultation."

- B.M.
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Make your thumb even greener. Follow some Classic Tips.

Is it hard to know when to divide the daylilies? Prune the paeony or trim the taxus? Sign up for our email Garden Tips and you'll get a monthly reminder about what's happening in your garden and what you need to do about it. (Don't want to do anything about it? Ouch. Better see our Landscape Care section!)

To receive the "Monthly Gardening Tip" just fill out the form above. Note: We are unable to send the "Monthly Gardening Tip" via an email attachment to some ISP's. If you asked for, but aren't getting it, either find a surly and jaded teenager to reconfigure your computer or simply send a self-addressed stamped envelope to receive "snail mail."

Tips for September

Labor Day Weekend The Nursery will be closed in honor of the holiday on September 4th. Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

Fantastic Fall Sale! The September sale starts Wednesday, September 13th-24th. Stop by for great savings throughout the nursery.  See associate for details on sale. (e.g. Landscape Card & Wholesale are separate discounts).

What to Plant

It's true, Fall is for planting! The soil is still warm, providing faster root growth and giving plants a head start for next year. By next summer, they will have a larger, more established root system than spring plantings, which means better drought tolerance and also better flowering their first blooming year. Also, the shorter days and mild temperatures in fall mean lower stress on new plants. Last, but not least, the inevitable rains help keep those new plants watered, meaning less work for you (enjoy late summer’s warmth before the cooler winds start to blow).

Exception: Plants that are frost tender, or borderline hardy for your area are best planted in the spring, unless they are being put in a well-protected area.

Annuals & Perennials: September is one of the best times of the year to plant perennials. Tidy up annuals and trim back spent growth. Feed with a water-soluble fertilizer to encourage some annuals to put out one last round of bloom before frost. Plant the newest crop of pansies ("Winter Pansies") ornamental cabbage & kale and fall mums to add some fresh color to the garden.

Vegetables: It's not too late to plant some vegetables for the fall and winter vegetable garden. Overwintering types of Broccoli, Cabbage, Collards, Cauliflower and Kale can be planted by starts. To plant by seed, salad greens and other cool weather crops are still possible. If you have row covers, cloches or other protection for crops, the possibilities are wider still.

The Harvest

Questions about harvesting vegetables come up this time of year, especially as the weather starts to cool and we realize with a bit of a shock that we're witnessing the declining days of summer...

Squash -- Summer squash are best harvested while still on the small side, because not only is the flavor better, but if left on the plant a long time it begins seed formation and reduces further fruit set. A Winter Squash is completely mature when the stem is brown and shriveled. But usually our summers don't last long enough for that to occur, so to optimize harvest; you can remove the very smallest squash and any new ones from the vine after September 1st, in order to allow the plant to put the remainder of its energy into ripening the larger fruit.

Eggplant -- Best if picked when slightly immature, when the fruit has stopped rapidly enlarging but the skin is still shiny and thin. Fruit set stops a week or two before the autumnal equinox, and this is when all developed fruit should be harvested. Smaller fruit may continue on to ripeness if the early days of October are sufficiently warm.

Peppers -- Many varieties of both sweet and hot peppers change color from green to red or yellow as they ripen, and as much as possible this should be used as the guide for harvest for best flavor. For thin-walled varieties of hot chili peppers that are intended for drying, be sure to harvest before frost or the onset of the rainy season to prevent rotting of the fruit. If the fruit has not entirely ripened by this time pull up the entire plant and hang upside down in a cool, dimly lit place. Some of the remaining fruit on the plant will both ripen and dry under these conditions.

Tomatoes -- Tomatoes are at their peak when they easily detach from the stem with only the slightest tug. But what to do if summer wanes and you are still facing green globes on the vine? You can boost the ripening of the larger fruit by removing all flowers and the smaller, immature tomatoes, beginning about September 1st (these smallest of fruits won't have time to mature, in any case). An additional method is to start withholding water in late August/early September. This stress will cause the plant to ripen its fruit, thinking that it must hurry to ripen its seeds for reproduction. Watch out for late summer rains, however, which can cause these now more fragile vines to fall apart and become diseased. In the almost inevitable event of some green tomatoes: if they are full size at harvest, many will often ripen in the house (but search out some recipes for green tomatoes, just in case!).

Landscape Maintenance

Lawn Care: While the soil is still warm, it is a great time to reseed existing lawn or seed a new lawn, on the heels of the Fall rains that will aid germination. Shorter days mean slower top growth, allowing plants to store more nutrients and be in optimum condition for good, healthy growth next spring.

Pests in the landscape: As the rainy season starts to return, slugs will unfortunately increase their activity. Try using Sluggo, an extremely effective slug killer that is non-toxic to people and pets. Or bait your slug traps with beer. You can search and destroy as well. Look under leaves and other debris.

Tree & Shrub Planter Refresher

Know what is below before you dig. Call 811 for line locating services.

*Planting container plants …

Make sure the root mass is moist before planting.
Dig planting hole twice as wide as root mass and same depth.
Moisten planting hole if dry.
Slide root mass out of pot and loosen the roots so they can grow outward (not circling) when planted.
Place root mass in planting hole so it is level or slightly higher than surrounding ground.
Back fill soil and firm the soil with foot or hand. You can mix compost in the back fill soil and/or topdress
Water in deeply at this time (very important) to remove air pockets.

*Planting root ball wrapped in burlap (B&B) …
If there is a wire basket remove it before placing in planting hole
Carefully place the root mass in planting hole and cut the twine from around the trunk.
Peel back the burlap and cut & remove as much as you can (the small piece below will rot away).
Back fill the soil and firm with hand or foot.
Water in deeply at this time (very important) to remove air pockets.