published Saturday, August 25th, 2012

5 tips to plant your fall garden

It's almost time to get the fall gardens going.

"We're right at the beginning of fall planting time," said Sara Gruen, manager of The Barn Nursery.

That means planting shrubs and trees, and reinvigorating those annuals and perennials.

Gruen said the temperatures, which have been a few degrees cooler than average, are just right for adding autumnal colors with mums, crape myrtles and butterfly bushes. Even late summer blooming hydrangeas can be planted in the last days of August or early September, she said.

According to Better Homes and Gardens, mums are an ideal fall flower. They last a long time, are hardy and produce multiple blooms per plant. The magazine suggests mass plantings in one or two colors to complement the surrounding garden.

Butterfly bushes, those fragrant shrubs that attract hummingbirds, bees and, yes, butterflies, are deciduous shrubs with long arching

shoots that produce sweet smelling, colorful blooms.

Of course, there are vegetables, including greens and cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and kohlrabi, to be planted in fall as well.


1. Plant trees with root balls covered in burlap. Avoid planting bare rooted trees in fall.

2. When planting butterfly bush, dig a hole twice the diameter of the size pot the plant is in and place so the rootball is level with the soil surface.

3. Crepe myrtle needs to be planted in a sunny spot with well-drained soil.

4. Mums also require at least six hours of sun a day.

5. Speak to your local nursery or horticulturalist to discuss which plants and trees best suit your needs.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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