August 19, 2015 | Home & Happiness Team | Comments Off on Earth, Wind & Gardening: Late Summer-to-Fall Harvest and Planting Tips
Here in New England, Mulch Season is definitely upon us.
Just as we’re all enjoying this season’s full bounty – farmer’s markets chock full of fresh produce as well as homegrown fresh-off-the-vine tomatoes, ripe melons, and strawberries…the summer’s coming to a close.
Gardeners once overrun with ripe zucchini will soon instead be wondering if a frost will bite when night falls, and that means it’s time to prep the garden for autumn – even as we continue to savor the full flavor of summer.
Wait A Minute, Bulbs!
But before you compost and pack on the mulch for a warm winter’s nap – don’t forget to put in some bulbs for spring! Just after Labor Day, nurseries are stocked with bulbs just waiting for pickup. Those of you who mail order are probably already waiting for delivery. If not, now’s the time. Most do well in big pots or arranged in the front of garden beds in preparation for their spring burst of color. Some of our local favorites include bluebells, daffodils, grape hyacinth and, of course, spring tulips. A little labor now will pay off in spades next spring.
Keeping Some Color
While you’re at the gardening store stocking up on mulch to pack around deep freeze-areas, consider picking up some extra large pots for garden, patio and entrance appeal to take you into the next season with panache. Grab a few perennials in flower – like campanula, candytuft, catmint, coreopsis, delphinium, yarrow, hollyhocks, dianthus, foxglove, penstemon, phlox or salvia – and arrange them in large pots with a high-quality potting soil and a good topping of fertilizer. The effect is distractingly beautiful while you get the rest of the garden prepped for the big changes to come!
Meanwhile, Lettuce Eat Healthier
But no need to sigh and pull out the sweaters for indoor-only activities just yet – even here in the colder zones of the U.S., there’s a bevy of items that can still produce before winter.
Some of the quickest cool season bed crops include tasty leaf veggies that thrive on a 30 to 90 day growth timeline, and nothing beats growing your own fresh greens, especially if you’re new to the game. Mesclun mixes bring color to your table and extend, in some climates, all the way past the first frosts. These include lettuce, arugula, and the heartiest of all plants (and a favorite green of the decade), kale.
Some of us have even noted delayed and even double season activity in different zones this year. Are your plants thriving later than usual this year, or do you have a few gardening tricks up your soil-covered sleeve? Share some mid-bounty harvest pictures with us while you begin your autumn preparations! but, yes, thank you, we have enough zucchini!