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Fall Garden Planning – Garden Plans For Next Spring And Ordering By Mail
It’s August, the weather has cooled down a bit here and the summer monsoons where I live in New Mexico have started. The children go back to school and I smell the beginning of autumn. I have that garden planning itch again! It happens 2-3 times a year… This time it’s time to start ordering bulbs and perennials for fall planting. I’m still planning what my garden will look like next season and I guess most of you are doing the same. Fall is the perfect time to plant for established growth next spring!
Take a good look at your garden now and think about the areas you need to fill in. Do you need colors at the end of the season, flowers at the beginning of spring? Are there bare spots or places where plants like poppies or tulips are sleeping and you need a sealer to keep your garden alive with color? I find the best time to plan for the next few years is in the fall, when flowering time and plant combinations are fresh in my mind.
You might be disappointed with a plant combination you chose last season. Fall is the perfect time to reorganize. Get rid of invasive plants and revive areas with new color or foliage combinations. Think about the areas of your bulb or perennial garden that you want to grow. What size, shape and bloom color do you need? Plant them this fall and watch your pots come to fruition in the spring.
Shrubs and trees take years to mature and take their place. You can get off to a good start by planting them this fall. When spring arrives, they will be much sturdier and will require fewer babies.
Fall is the perfect time to mail order bulbs, perennials, shrubs, hedges and trees. The season is coming to an end and if you’re like me, you’re just not ready to quit yet. Sure, there’s some cleaning up to do, but I find more planting helps finish off those mundane cxhores. While I’m cleaning up, I’m planting new ones!
Order online or by mail
Ordering plants online can be a bit scary. How are the plants shipped? Will they be of good quality? Will they arrive at the right time and will I be ready to plant them then?
Do not be afraid ! I’ve been ordering in the fall for years and had great results!
Plant quality and guarantees
Nurseries differ in what they ship and how they are shipped, so be sure to do your research, but almost all reputable mail-order nurseries guarantee their plant growth or your money’s worth. I’ve never had trouble delivering on that promise and have used it once or twice for some plants. I also admit, somewhat reluctantly as a new gardener, that I should never have ordered these specific plants for my climate. Nevertheless, the nursery stood by its guarantee.
How plants are shipped
Some plants will be shipped bare root, others potted. It depends on the plant variety and I’ve actually found a preference for bare root plants. They look dead when they arrive (they are actually dormant), but I assure you that unless they show visible signs of disease like rot, they will thrive in the spring.
*Note – If you get any plants that look like they have crown rot, send them back immediately or just call the nursery and they will ship new ones.
When to plant
Although you never know exactly when your plants will arrive, they are shipped to you at the appropriate planting time for your gardening zone. If plants arrive and it is not practical to plant them immediately, just be sure to follow the instructions included in your shipment to keep your plants viable until you can plant them. If you’ve planned ahead, you’ll know where they’re going and it won’t take long to get them into the ground. A Saturday afternoon will usually give you plenty of time to do this.
Keep in mind that these companies have been in business for years and years and have been shipping bare root and potted plants for eons. They know what they are doing and most of them do it very well. They would go out of business if they couldn’t meet your planting requirements.
Gardening budgets and selection
You can’t beat the cost and selection of ordering by mail! Most mail order companies carry varieties of plants you won’t find anywhere else. The selections seem endless and I was amazed at what I can grow in New Mexico. Take advantage of fall specials and free shipping and you’ll get what you pay for. For about half of what I spend on a trip to the garden center for a single spring garden binge, I can have more variety and many more plants shipped to me at home.
Subscribe to mailing lists
Make sure you’re on the mailing list for the following nurseries at least! You will receive a catologue several times a year. Take it out into the garden with you, look around and plan accordingly. Then jump online and place an order or order by mail, but use online resources for their help with plant combinations and companion planting. They offer some great suggestions that you might not have thought of before. Remember that the pictures will help any gardener, regardless of experience.
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