Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall Gardening

I love to garden.   It's one of my main hobbies and contributes greatly to my love of the warmer months when gardening is in full swing.  The yard at my home back in Georgia was worked and loved every day.  Lilies, four o' clocks, lamb's ear, impatients, buttercups, ivy, azaleas, petunias, zinnias, sweet potato vines, asparagus ferns, begonias, camellias.  A fig tree and a pomegranate tree.  I loved taking care of them all.

When we moved to Mississippi, not only did I have no garden to tend to, but the traditional gardening season was coming to a close.  In addition to leaving my new yard looking rather barren, this situation eliminated one of my favorite things to do. 

I never dabbled much into fall gardening because I would just focus on sustaining my summer plants as far into the colder months as I could (which wasn't hard in southern Georgia), and then buying a few mums to get me through till spring.  I've never been faced with starting afresh when the natural world is retiring away.

But I must! And here is what I'm doing:

1.  Planting a vegetable the grows in colder months.  Namely, broccoli.  The shoots are just coming up nice and tall.  They require regular water and lots of sun.

2.  Potting plants.  Or, putting them in hanging baskets. This way they are not subjected to the cold, frosty ground (when that day finally comes), and they can be  moved indoors temporarily if need be.  The plants I chose to place in pots are those that can withstand cold temperatures and are good for fall/winter in USDA Zone 8, which is where we live.  You can find your planting zone here.

I love ornamental grasses and different varieties of creeping jasmine, both of which are cold hardy.

Colorful mums are especially beautiful in pots!

3. Taking care of basic landscaping.  Most types of shrubs grow year round, so now is a good opportunity, when I'm not preoccupied with other flowers, to get some shurbs in the ground.  I'm also spreading pinestraw in new flower beds that I've created, which makes a yard look much neater and more finished.

4. Preparing soil for spring.  The soil around our home is very chalky and light, which is not at all ideal.  I've spent a great deal of time this past week softening it with water and adding in a good ground mixture I got at Lowe's.  That way, if I want to plant bulbs for spring, I don't have to worry about them suffering and potentially dying in barren soil.

Happy gardening!


  1. I have an on & off relationship with mom taught me well & i try hard (at times) but then completely let it go! I planted mums yesterday in my front pots & will probably ignore the yard the rest of the fall! haha

  2. Now is the perfect time to prepare and think about spring planting. It's actually really hot here today in Georgia! Which my cold season crops are not liking too well but the late tomatoes are:) I LOVE gardening - it's my most favorite thing to do!



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