Fall is for planting! Fall seems to be the perfect season to get a new landscape established. Cooler weather helps plants acclimate to their new surroundings easier than during the heat of summer. Less watering is of course a welcome relief for homeowners establishing new plantings as well. It’s a win-win!
September is a good month to landscape with fall mums, which are available in a rainbow assortment of colors. Bronze, red, yellow, and white are among the more popular choices. At Metzger landscaping we even carry mums that are tri-colored—that’s right—you can get three colors of mums all in the same pot!
The key to successful planting for mums for the landscape is proper site preparation. Choose a sunny, well-drained spot. Dig and loosen the soil to a depth of eight to ten inches in a hole twice the diameter of the plant’s pot. Mix organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure into the soil. If you want to try to overwinter your mums, once plant tops die back after blooming or severe frost, cut the stems even with the ground. Apply a thick layer of straw or bark mulch at the end of October, removing it in the spring as the frost leaves the ground. If we have a mild winter, or you live in a mild location, chances are better that they will survive. The Garden Center at Metzger Landscaping in North Manchester has a fantastic selection of mums to brighten your landscape and perk up your front porch decorations!
Looking for long term fall color for your landscaping? Consider trees and shrubs that turn brilliant colors year after year. A maple tree called ‘red sunset’ turns a reliable, brilliant red color each fall. Pair the red sunset maple with a sugar maple or silver maple that turn a yellow golden color for a spectacular fall color. There are many trees to consider for fall color, other than maples. Many of the colorful large trees turn variations of yellow including yellowwood, American beech (a yellowish bronze), ash (a reddish yellow), ginkgo, honeylocust, quaking aspen, golden weeping willow, and elms. For dark red colors in large trees consider some of the oaks such as the white, swamp white, scarlet, shingle, pin, and red oak. Some of the other oaks’ leaves aren’t particularly showy in fall. One of the few hardy flowering cherries for the north, the Sargent cherry, turns yellow to red. A few shrubs that I use in our landscape projects for spectactular red fall color are Viburnum ‘brandywine’, old fashioned Burning Bush, and Virgina Sweetspire. Shrubs to plant for yellow color include Buckthorne ‘fine line’, Dwarf Lilac ‘miss Kim’, and False Cypress ‘lemon thread’.
Ornamental grasses and flowering fall perennials add texture and color to landscape beds late in the season. When most perennials are starting to wane there are several reliable perennials that homeowners can turn to for a splash of late season color. Sedum ‘brillance’ or ‘autumn joy’, Gaillardia ‘indian blanket’ and purple asters are stunning are all in the fall. All ornamental grasses seem fabulous in the fall but a few personal favorites are Panicum ‘shanendoah’, Miscanthus ‘sarenbande’ and Dwarf Fountain grass ‘hamlen’. Visit us at Metzger Landscaping’s Garden Center for a great selection of fall mums, ornamental grasses and colorful fall perennials.