Home & Garden

Time to plant ornamentals and fall-blooming perennials

Getty Images/Ivary

▪ I know I am repeating myself, but ... buy and plant pansies now. Avoid the little “six packs” and opt for larger plants with more developed roots.

▪ There are new and exciting varieties of ornamental cabbages, kale and mustards. They have amazing color that works all through the winter months. These plants will start arriving in stores soon, but wait about three more weeks to buy and plant.

▪ Now is a great time to plant perennials, especially the fall bloomers.

▪ Grills are now on sale at most major stores. Choose a stainless steel grill for looks and ease of maintenance. Choose a grill size that is realistic both in terms of the amount of time you spend grilling and the space where the grill will be placed. Keep the grill away from overhead structures, and located near the back door to the kitchen if possible. Buy a cover. Do not place grills in garages, on porches, or less than 2 feet away from your home’s exterior walls.

▪ Do you have landscape lighting at your home? With the days getting shorter, never come home to a dark house again! Today’s landscape lighting is low voltage and uses highly efficient LED bulbs. Buy quality fixtures made of copper, brass or stainless steel — they last a very long time. Add a digital timer with a dusk-to-dawn feature. Stay away from solar and cheap lights. Visit Fernvalley.com for more information.

▪ Keep the lawn free of leaves, which can mat down and suffocate the grass. Be sure to rake or mow regularly.

▪ Dig and divide all non-blooming perennials now.

▪ Give those outdoor summer containers a new fall look. Remove dead and spent summer plants, and replace them with fresh, flowering fall plants. Use pansy, snapdragon, ornamental cabbage or kale, and parsley for a great fall show.

▪ Treat fire ant mounds now to kill the colonies before the ants disappear for the winter.

Todd Goulding provides residential landscape design consultations. Contact him at fernvalley.com or 478-345-0719.