Master Gardeners hear video tips on fall landscaping ideas

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Natchez — By way of interactive video Adams County Master Gardeners recently heard fall landscaping tips, techniques and ideas presented by Dr. Lelia Kelly, consumer horticulture specialist at Mississippi State University Extension Service.

The first step in any gardening planning, Kelly said, is to clean up the area of dead plants and then decide what to do with the site.

Fall is the time of year to do many gardening activities. Now is the time to seed cool weather annuals and wildflowers that are not in a mulched area. Dig up and divide spring and summer flowering perennials, watering the divided clumps well to have good root growth.

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For quick color in the garden, plant colored leaf lettuces, radishes, kale and other fall greens. Some of these also lend themselves to container planting on the patio.

Fall is the time to plant trees and shrubs. The cool weather helps plants develop good root systems before the spring growing season begins.

Spring bulbs are plentiful at nurseries now. Buy now, but do not plant until November when the soil is cooler. Cooler soil allows the roots to develop sufficiently before foliage emerges.

Good gardeners know the benefits of compost. Pile leaves, grass clippings, and other plant debris from the garden and flower beds and let them rot. When worked back into the soil, the compost supplies needed nutrients.

Outside gardening is not the only place to plant. Herbs such as basil, chives, parsley, rosemary and sage grow well in small containers on a sunny kitchen window.

Kelly remarked that an inexpensive way to improve the looks of an area is to spread a thin layer of mulch.

Kelly suggested visiting local garden centers and nurseries to view the many varieties of plants now available for fall planting.