If your pots and planters look anything like mine do after this summer, it is time to replant because they look like total crap. Not plain old crap, no I’m talkin’ total crap. And if you have fake flowers stuck in your pots left over from the Nixon administration, time to toss those suckers as well. From mums and way beyond I have bounced all over Baristaville taking pictures of some of my favorite garden centers and the gorgeous things they have to offer for fall as well as some fall planting tips.
Hillcrest Farms in Verona grows all of its own nursery plants. Other than mums and ornamental kale they are stocking the most beautiful and interesting ornamental chili peppers I have ever seen. So much so, I took a special trip back for a few peppers with variegated leaves and some Honey Crisp apples!
If you are looking for huge perennial asters, large ornamental chili peppers, mums and kale try Pleasantdale Nurseries in West Orange . I picked up three huge fall blooming asters in blues and pinks and the best part is they will come back and bloom every fall.
To give my planters a bit of purple spikey goodness I picked up some Black Mondo Grass (and no you can’t smoke it) from Plochs Garden Center in Clifton. The grass is a perennial and rather easy to divide so I cut up two plants into six (see photo in slide show). When I clean the planters at the end of fall I will dig the grasses into the borders of my garden and they will return in the spring. I also picked up some gorgeous black-and-orange pansies .
FALL PLANTING TIPS
So how to go about refreshing those planters? For one save anything that looks nice and healthy. There were 0.000% plants worth saving in my front planters so I started from scratch-a-roo. Be sure to aerate the sometimes root bound and compacted soil with your hands before planting. Fall is a short and cool growing season. For my summer planters I use small plants that will grow quickly in the warm weather and not become root bound by July. At this time of year, I say pack them full and make them look nice now. For my larger pots I planted one small mum, a variegated pepper, a large kale, a black and an orange pansy, a bit of Black Mondo Grass and a bit of purple sweet potato vine. TIP: The sweet potato vine I cut from a large plant, stuck in water and it shot roots out in two days.
For some of my pots I just needed to yank out old petunias etc. and replant with a small kale or a mum. I even filled in holes in my planters with some purple ground cover called Ajuga. When the mums are done blooming cut them back and replant in your garden. I have about a 50% success rate with them making it through the winter.
So Baristaville what are you planting this fall?