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There are many joys with gardening. For many of us, the number one joy is being able to enjoy having color in our gardens or containers year-round. We are fortunate to live in a state (Zones 6 – 8) that is temperate enough to allow flowers to be planted and enjoyed all twelve months of the year.
Here we are in entering the last days of October. We are now having more seasonable, fall-like temperatures. We did get down into the ’30s for a couple of nights last week but, no frost. Keep in mind that our average first frost date is around October 20, which we have passed. Our extended forecast, which takes us into the beginning of November, has no mention of frost. So, many of us are still enjoying blooms from our spring annuals, such as marigolds, impatiens, petunias, begonias, etc., since we planted them back in April. This is close to being seven months. Not too shabby. But, if you’re flowering annuals are like mine you can sense the end is coming. My begonias are not as vibrant. My portulaca plants are not blooming as prolifically and are beginning to set seed heads. So, what does this mean?
I finally pulled out all my summer annuals to make way for my fall plantings. The best choice of plants for planting this time of year for color would be the pansies, violas, and ornamental cabbage and kale. These plants tolerate the cold temperatures, frosty nights, and freezing temperatures – even in container plantings. And, will continue to live and give color from now through winter and early spring.
A lot of people are hesitant now to plant fall and winter interest color because of how the spring/summer annuals are still producing. However, the sooner we plant our new plants the more established they become and, thus, become stronger with the cold winter days. My advice is to make the sacrifice, pull out the summer annuals, and get your winter color planted now.
PLANT A LITTLE HAPPINESS!!!!!!