By Brent Gray
Cooler temperatures tend to reinvigorate gardeners for fall planting. We are still enjoying long days but fall and cooler temperatures are on the way and it is not too soon to begin to plan for fall color. Visit your local nursery and garden center to see what choices you have. Cool season annuals to look for include pansies, ornamental cabbage and kale. Also, look for mums, marigolds, and don’t forget to seed a few packets of colorful leaf lettuces or burgundy mustard in your ornamental beds or containers for a crisp, tasty splash of color. Nasturtiums and calendula can be seeded now for late fall bloom.
On the perennial aisle look for ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum, verbena, Mexican bush sage, gaillardia, bog sage, ornamental grasses, Mexican mint marigold, gaura, catmint, garlic chives and asters. Colorful shrubs, either with blooms or showy fall foliage, include butterfly bushes, caryopteris, burning bush, oakleaf hydrangea, forsythia and blueberries. Don’t forget the shrubs with colorful fruit or seed cones like hibiscus, American beautyberry, holly, and shrub althea.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to liven up your landscape or home with fall color. Pick a few focal points, such as, right by the front door, entrance to your driveway or right outside a window that you look out of often and concentrate on those areas. Using a few large well placed containers or combinations of containers can be enough to get you and your landscape in the mood for fall!
Fall Gardening Programs
There are several gardening programs available in the approaching weeks.
Planning a Fall Garden will be held 9 a.m. August 30 at the Mississippi State Trial Gardens on campus. Contact msgardentrials on facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 662-325-2311
Fall Vegetable Container Gardens and Raised Beds will be held 6:30 pm September 9 at the Dorman Greenhouse on Campus. Cost is $15. Register at email@example.com .
Fall Horticulture Field Day is September 20th at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center at Verona.
The Fall Flower and Garden Fest will be October 17 and 18 at the Truck Crop Experiment Station. This is the largest display of home garden varieties in the South.