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Fall Gardening Tips From Festival Hill Horticulturist

September 25th, 2014 by Pamela Murski

We love the Fall, the gardens at Festival  Hill, gardening at our Brenham TX Bed and Breakfast ranch!  October is a wonderful month of transition – one in which we hope to get more rain and some cooler weather. It is also a great time to put a lot of plants into your gardens.  If you don’t  have much land space, use pots.  The pic below is a great example of how easy and beautiful they can be.   October is always a great month to plant a lot of winter vegetables – leafy greens such as kale, chard, spinach, mustard, collards, lettuce, and cabbage. It is also a great time to get other vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, beets, and radishes planted.

In the herb department you can also get a lot planted – parsley, cilantro, chervil, dill, fennel, lovage – all those wonderful carrot family herbs are prime candidates to either direct seed or to plant seedlings. Perennial herbs such as sage, thyme, savory, and rosemary are also good choices for planting now. If yours didn’t fare well through the summer, consider replanting soon and don’t wait until spring.

Container Herb Gardening

Container Herb Gardening

There are also many wonderful ornamentals that can be planted now if your garden is looking a bit drab or if you just want to have something cheerful through the winter.  The gardens at Festival Hill are a buffet for the senses!   Dianthus, calendulas, snapdragons, borage, and alyssum will provide some color through the winter if it doesn’t get too cold and a lot of color come early spring. Ornamental kale and cabbages will look great all through the winter and are great for filling in containers or next to a patch of curly parsley; just keep an eye out for caterpillars if there are warm spells and treat with Bt if you find any.  Many of these great little plants and seeds can be found at the Antique Rose Emporium in Independence TX…..just a quick drive from our Brenham TX Bed and Breakfast!

Pansies and violas make for some of the best winter and spring color, but I suggest that you wait until November or December to get them in the ground as we can still have some warm spells in the early fall and they can pout or just die from the sense that you’ve put them in pansy hell and they don’t want to suffer any more. (Believe me, I’ve lost many a pansy from getting antsy and putting them in too soon!) If you are putting pansies or violas in pots, I’d suggest that you start with a clean pot and new potting soil. These little guys are troopers when it is too cold out for you and me, but warm spells and a few root pathogens can cause them to wilt and rot before your eyes.

Enjoy the autumn and try something new in your garden this season (kohlrabi or chervil are great suggestions if you’ve not tried them yet).  This great information came via Henry Flowers, the local horticulturist at Festival Hill.  He is a fount of information and is usually dead on.  Come enjoy the gardens at our Texas Bed and Breakfast where we implement many of his suggestions!

**Photo Courtesy of KateMonkey

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