It may feel like summer, but the fall planting season is upon us.
Mentioning spring might have some folks confused for a moment, however, now through November is the time you want to plant any bulbs that you’d like to see come up in the spring.
The cooling temperatures combined with ample rainfall gives plants time to establish their root systems, while adapting to your garden or yard’s growing conditions before the frost sets in.
This month we’re talking about planting veggies and bulbs, and how organic tone products scientifically benefit your yields and blooms.
And we’ll discuss bringing houseplants inside for the season, as well as fertilizing your lawn. Let’s dig in!
In the Vegetable Garden
This time of year is much less stressful for vegetables, and many other plants as well.
Cole crops, greens, and root crops all prefer the cooler weather.
Not only do the temperatures and rainfall make for better growing conditions, but there’s fewer pests and weeds.
And more rain means you shouldn’t need to water quite as much.
Even seeds planted now should germinate faster than they would in spring since the soil is warmer.
If you’ve never had a fall vegetable garden before, I recommend starting to plan by making a list of vegetables that you and your family eat often.
Once you have that, consider where and how you can grow your plants — whether it’s in your yard, raised beds, or pots.
Yes, don’t forget you can absolutely grow vegetables in pots if you’re renting or don’t have much yard space.
Then, bring your list with you to Robin’s Nest.
You can boost your garden’s yield and flavors by using Garden-tone when planting herbs and vegetables.
So, while you’re shopping for veggies, you can grab your Garden-tone.
Espoma is our go-to at Robin’s Nest for boosting the health of any plant. I truly wouldn’t garden without it.
Their 100-percent organic, slow-releasing, long-lasting formula is chock full of humates and microbes, and they never use any sludges or fillers in any of their products.
“What are humates,” you might ask. They’re an organic, acidic substance that is an absolutely critical component of soil fertility and nutrition for plants.
When compared to a plant grown without humic substances, a plant that is grown with humic substances will produce higher yields, provide better nutrition, and are even less susceptible to stress.
Humates act as a sponge and have the ability to hold up to seven times their volume in water.
They also stimulate root growth, which goes in hand with its ability to enhance plants’ uptake of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Beneficial microbes can include organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and protozoa.
Much of microbes work goes unseen since they’re unable to be seen without a microscope.
They assist in decomposing organic matter, while fostering stability in soils’ aggregate and structure.
They increase plants’ nutrient uptake, and help to control diseases, as well as degrade pesticides.
Did you know that a single gram of soil — which is about a quarter of a teaspoon — can contain upwards of a billion bacterial cells and miles of thread-like fungal filament known as hyphae?
It’s pretty crazy that a spoonful of dirt has that many organisms, if not more.
In the Flower Garden
It’s also time to start thinking about what spring-flowering bulbs you’d like in your yard or garden.
They can be planted from now through November. For maximum spring bloom time, I would pick out three or four different types of bulbs that range in bloom times from very early, early, mid-, to late-spring.
Planting this way will assure you see constant color once spring rolls back around.
There are several different techniques that you can use for digging when planting your bulbs, such as poke, drill, and trench.
No matter which method you choose, you’ll want the hole to be three to four times deeper than the height of the bulb.
There’s also several methods of planning where you’d like to plant.
Of course you can place one bulb at a time for a more uniform look, however, if you want a more natural look I would use the shake-and-scatter method.
By gently shaking a bag with your bulbs, it should scatter them in a little more of an untamed, wildflower fashion.
Additionally, they can be planted in mass in trenches for a more full and robust look.
If you don’t like the idea of long trenches, don’t be afraid to play around with different shaped trenches such as a teardrop.
Next, I recommend putting some of Espoma’s Bulb-tone at the bottom of the holes.
If you’re unfamiliar, it’s another 100-percent organic long-lasting, slow-release feed formula consisting of Bio-tone microbes.
Make sure to read the instructions of how and when to apply fertilizer according to what you’re planting, and how you’re planning to plant.
Espoma’s recommended use amounts can be found in detail on the bag itself, and of course their website.
Before covering your bulbs in blankets of dirt, make sure they’re facing the right directions.
Some bulbs differ from others, so here’s what to look out for.
When planting bulbs and corms, the pointy end should be facing up toward the sky.
However, when it comes to tubers and rhizomes that have much more visible root systems, they should be planted with their root systems facing the soil.
Once your bulbs are all facing the right direction, plant away!
In the House
As it gets cooler, it’s time to start moving houseplants back indoors that you’ve had out over the summer.
This adjustment period can take several weeks, so I would definitely recommend starting the process sooner than later.
If you wait until the cool weather is already here, you’ll run the risk of triggering leaf drop or even killing the plant, so stay ahead of it.
The longer you put it off, the more your plants will be shocked by the dramatic difference in temperatures.
If you have a lot, try to bring them inside in smaller batches to make it a little easier on yourself.
Do not forget to check for pests before moving plants inside — otherwise you could run the risk of an infestation spreading to your collection of greenery.
In the case that you do have pests, I recommend applying three different applications of insecticide, or super soap, seven to 10 days apart each time.
This should prevent any insects trying to hitch a ride into your home on any of your plants.
They can go relatively unnoticed on outdoor plants over the summer, but once brought inside will spread like wildfire.
Be sure to spend some extra time checking, cleaning, and debugging any plants that are infested before moving them inside for the season.
In the Yard
There’s still plenty of time to revive, rejuvenize, and fertilize your lawn if it’s looking feeble.
The Maryland Fertilizer Law says Nov. 16 is when you’re no longer allowed to fertilize (until March 1).
You can shop for lawn fertilizers, such as Milorganite, in our Plant Barn.
Remember, you should not use fertilizer to de-ice walkways and driveways.
Make sure to clean up any spills, and keep the fertilizer 10 to 15 feet from waterways.
Do not fertilize your lawn if heavy rain is predicted, or the ground is frozen.
To Close
Whether you’re planting veggies, planning bulbs, moving houseplants inside, or fertilizing your yard, don’t forget if you have any questions to contact us here at Robin’s Nest.
Give us a call at 410-822-8700, or send us a message through our Facebook page.
We want to help you grow in the garden. I hope you all have a wonderful last few weeks of summer, and happy fall.
(Editor’s Note: Ken Morgan is the owner of Robin’s Nest Floral and Garden Center in Easton, Md.)