It’s full-on FALL FLOWER TIME here at Gill’s! Time to add new splashes of color to landscape beds, pots by the front door, and start flowers to cut and share. We’re seeing absolutely stunning Snapdragons, Petunias, Impatiens, Violas, Begonias, ornamental cabbage and kale, Lobelia, Calendulas, Dianthus and more! Here are 4 important tips for the best and brightest blooms through the fall and winter.
1. Plant Fall Flowers Before the Time Change
Fall flowers need sun! Especially when they’re freshly-planted babies. So, part of the urgency of planting fall flowers now is to take advantage of the light before our days start getting shorter. We like to use the end of daylight savings time as a marker – get your fall flowers planted before November 5th!
2. Sacrifice Lingering Summer Blooms?
Even if you still have some lingering summer blooms (like Zinnias, Purslane, Coleus) most of them won’t last much longer. It’s better to pull them now to make way for new fall color like Impatiens, Petunias, Violas, and Snapdragons that will last through the fall and winter and into the early spring. One exception that you might decide to over-winter are Periwinkles. They’ll melt in cool weather and look rough, but their roots will continue to grow. If you have the space and the patience, you could cut them back in late January/early February and you could have gorgeous Periwinkles again in spring.
3. Enlist the Help of Fungi
When planting your fall flowers, add Bio-tone Starter Plus! The “plus” means + mycorrhizae, which are fungi that have a symbiotic relationship with plants. Mycorrhizal fungi absorb nutrients and transfer them back to the host plant. As a result, there is an increase in the absorption surface area of the plant’s roots. That means bigger and better roots, which is great for all plants, especially delicate fall flowers.
4. Keep Feeding Through the Winter!
Flowers are heavy feeders! If you want continued blooms, be sure you continue feeding your flowers once a month through the fall and winter with a good quality granular organic fertilizer. We love Rose Glo or Medina Growin Green for fall flowers. No need to be precise, just set a reminder to sprinkle some around your flower beds and outdoor pots once a month. For an extra boost, supplement with liquid Hasta Gro every 2 weeks.