Saturday, September 5, 2009

Planting for the Fall

The other day one of my friends emailed me asking what she should plant for the fall and where she could by seedlings.

Some of the local Sacramento nurseries will carry cool-weather vegetable seedlings, but large stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s will not. A great source for organic vegetable seedlings and seeds is Peaceful Valley Farms. They have a store in Grass Valley, take a little drive and visit them.

Some cool weather vegetables are: Garlic, shallots, Oriental Greens, Mustard Greens, M√Ęche (European variety – delicious!), Spinach and some herbs such as Cilantro and Dill.

Fall is also the time for planting cover crops. I like to plant Crimson Clover (also available in bulk from Peaceful Valley Farms). In the spring the clover produces bright red flowers, and when it’s done blooming I turn the crop under and the clover brings oxygen to the soil. Fall is also time to plant wildflowers and bulbs. You’ll see bulbs available at most of the big stores and nurseries.

If you don’t want to bother with a winter garden, you can cover your beds with the fallen leaves and put the garden “to sleep”. In the spring, turn the leaves under, as many of them will have composted.

Late fall and early winter is the time to cut back your ornamental grasses. They will turn a straw color. Make sure to cut them back before the spring and the new growth comes in.

And finally…it’s cooling down so enjoy your garden! We are fortunate to have mild weather all the way through October and into November, and it’s lovely to have meals in the garden.

On a trip to Germany, roughly ten years ago, we saw this stunning show of Boston Ivy covering a building...

As a side note - check out these vertical gardens. They are not exactly vines, but plants planted on the vertical faces of buildings. While I was in Paris last summer I saw a building done by this particular designer and I was thrilled!

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