Fall is a great time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. Even though plants may not look their best and you'll be waiting until next year to see blooms, giving them time to establish over winter can give them a great head start come spring.You can also find some great deals at this time of year
Fall planting is much the same as planting at any time of the year. Make sure to dig the hole wide rather than deep and keep the soil's surface at the same level in the ground as it is in the pot it comes in. If the hole is dug too deep, the plant itself can settle and sink over winter, ending up quite a bit lower in the ground after a few months of winter rain.
Place the plants in it's new home and rotate it to find it's best angle. Step back and look at it from a few vantage points to make sure you have the right spot. After teasing it out of it's pot, don't be surprised if your plant is root bound, it has been growing in a pot for the whole season. If you can, gently tease apart the roots, however sometimes it is necessary to take a pair of pruners to the root ball to cut any dense encircling roots. Because plants aren't growing as actively, we don't have to worry as much about disturbing the roots; less growth means less water uptake. Place your plant on a firm and level base, fill back in with soil and water well.
With our mild winters, most commonly grown plants won't suffer too much from the cold. However, once the deciduous trees have dropped their leaves, a good leaf mulch can keep your plants nice and snug over winter. Going over the leaves with a lawn mower is a great way to make sure that your mulch doesn't become an obstacle for young shoots in spring. If you use a heavier mulch, clear it from the crowns of perennials once the coldest weather has passed.
Nothing like tomatoes to get the spring garden season in full swing! With so many options to choose from, in reds, pinks, yellows, oranges, purples, and blacks, it's no wonder the current garden culture has gone tomato crazy. Heirloom varieties like Black Krim and Brandywine dominate the farmer's market landscape as you just cannot beat them for flavour and Figaro's sells a tonne of these.
I tend to go with the cherry tomatoes in our Vancouver climate as I find some of the larger varieties just don't quite ripen in time for the September rains and late blight. With varieties like Sungold and Gardener's Delight, I get my freshly picked tomato fix and I don't feel like I am missing out as their flavours are so stupendous.
Recently, breeders have been doing some great work for the small space dweller, coming up with some great varieties for pots, patios, and pint-sized plots. Varieties I have used with success include Tumbler, Patio, Sungold, Gold Nugget, Stupice, and even the Brandywine (in big pots). Burpee's, the seed wizards, have a short and sweet explanation of planting tomatoes in containers.
Figaro's gets its first shipment of local/organic tomatoes this week, just in time for the forecasted sunny weekend. They are being delivered by Ann Friesen of Friesen Farms, one of our amazing edible suppliers and her plants are of the highest quality you will find in BC. Seriously.
Indulge in the tomato frenzy...