Fall Outings and Planting

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Pink Flowers BloomedNow that schools are in session and Labor Day is here, my thoughts turn to fall, even though our temperatures are still on the warm, if not the hot side. Fall brings crisp cool, sunny days with azure blue skies and leaves turning brilliant colors of yellow, orange, red, and purple. It is a great time to plan a family outing to view the fall foliage, visit an orchard to harvest apples, visit a pumpkin patch, or just get lost in a corn maze. Download the Visit NC Farms App onto your phone to find local Farmers Markets, Pick Your Own operations, Local Farms and Local Food spots that you can visit.

I am a horticulturist and an ornamental gardener so I like decorating with fall chrysanthemums, shocks of corn, bales of straw, pumpkins, gourds, and a scarecrow or two. These decorations are fun to put together and can be very pretty, but they are short-lived. For longer interest in the garden I like to plant annuals that will survive most winters and if we have warm spells, will even provide flowers and color during the winter.

My two favorite annuals for fall planting are pansies and snapdragons. If you plant these plants now, they will get established before frost and will stand up to winter giving you blooms in winter and really providing a flower show in very early spring. Other cool season ornamentals that you can plant for their beautiful foliage colors are ornamental cabbage and kale.

Though it is a little early for planting bulbs, if you plan to add them to your garden this fall, now is the time to shop. Mark your calendar for the Master Gardener℠ volunteers of Union County Fall Plant & Bulb Sale on Saturday, October 16, 2021, at the Union County Agriculture Center at 3230 Presson Road in Monroe. They will have a variety of bulbs and perennials. For more information visit the Master Gardener℠ volunteers of Union County website.