Replanting for Fall

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 .

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?

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  1. Holly, I like your ideas. But next time, please read the piece over for typos (perinenial asters; it’s for its) and outright mistakes (I even filled in hole in my planters with some dug some purple ground cover called Aguga and filled some of my planters with ) before posting.

  2. Thank you, Sam, Kay and Oliver. Thank you Oliver for pointing out the mistakes. Have you ever had one of those days where you talk to your computer and then threaten it? All of the mistakes were fixed before posting 5x even the word Ajuga kept going back to Aguga.

    Hey, if the worst thing that happened to me in my week is that there were a few mistakes in one of my posts then I would say it has been a great week!

  3. They are edible. As for what they taste like, I did not know. So I picked one, cut it open, smelled it and then decided to turn my brain off and tossed the whole thing in my mouth. I spit it right out yelling, “HOT! HOT! HOT!”.
    Later on I will probably rub my eyes and burn them as well. Brilliant.

  4. Holly, what’s in the glass jars – is that the sweet potato vine? (you know I’m a sucker for that color foliage…!) Is it perennial? shade or sun?

    (Yeah, yeah, I could Google it, but it’s more fun to chat with you.)


  5. Kay- Yes, sweet potato vine. It is an annual. Most nurseries sell it in the spring. It cascades nicely. You should head to Ploch’s and pick up some Black Mondo Grass (buy one get one free right now). I have another purpley leafed plant that is stunning right now. My mother picked it up for me from an Amish farmer and I have no idea what it is. I will add it to the slide show today.

    Email me and I will give you a cutting.

  6. Very nice photos, Holly. And I can relate to our flower boxes looking like crap. First, everything got baked under the July heatwave and then we got hit with torrential rains in August, including Irene. Not a great year for the garden.

    I had to cut back many of my Black-Eyed Susans since the leaves were all black and withered. There were more Rose of Sharon blossoms on the ground than on the bushes this year. Tried growing orange Chinese Lanterns; they did not take, but the leaves provided some nice meals for caterpillers. 🙂

    We did have luck with the following: Butterfly Bushes…they lived up their name and attracted beautiful Swallowtails and Imperials; Jerusalem Artichokes and other Sunflowers; Zinnias; Cosmos; Sedum; and HUGE Fuschia Hibiscus. Also, the Morning Glories are out in all their glory and this year they are a deeper blue (almost purple) than last. Not sure why.

    And the Marigolds. My husband went a little overboard with them. I like them all right but they are not my favorite since they tend to take over the garden. They DO keep squirrels away for the tomatoes, though.

    We also have a wild mum plant waiting to bloom with burgundy flowers. With these cooler temps, it won’t be long.

  7. Holly I emailed you on Flickr…

    MM I gave up on my Susan and she is going in the garbage this fall. Her leaves were so bad that she’s now naked all the way up to the meager flowers on top. Phooey. I am thinking now of getting a shasta daisy in Susan’s place, or caryopteris, or summersweet. I am finding I like shrubs better than perennials lately; they are more predictable! (well except for hibiscus this year, for me too. few flowers and almost no second wave.)

    Come to think of it, sedum isn’t behaving either, it’s very small … and my Asclepias never came up at all. Blanket flower looks like it needs to be divided but I have never done that so I’ll probably just wait for the inevitable end. (obviously, my batting average isn’t so great …) I found sawfiles on my mugo pine, and have to keep checking now every couple of days. Aphids nearly destroyed my daylilies but I zapped them with my unscientific, homemade spray of castille soap and water. The foliage came back nicely but not as much rebloom.

    I love the look of buddlei but I don’t have the room for it.

    I wish I had more time to fool around in the garden though!

  8. If anyone reading here happens to be a bit farther afield, specifically Fairfield, you might want to visit Fairfield Garden Center. They lost a couple of weekends thanks to rte 46 being flooded (the garden center is fine) and could use a bit more business! I’m not affiliated with them, I just like them. 🙂

  9. Quarkwiz, Thank you I love Fairfield Garden Center. Hands down, they have the best selection of shrubs in the area. This is the time to plant shrubs right now and everything is on sale out there!

    MM, I have some Chinese lanterns for you. They tend to take over an area like mint but they take three years to “leap”.

    The rule with perennials is : The first year they sleep, the second they creep, the third they leap.

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