Thanksgiving is a good time to sow Delphinium seeds. I say Delphinium because that is what they really are. Only one type interest me here in the South. Larkspur Consolidce is what I want yo talk about today. I say Thanksgiving because that is easy to remember when to sow them. The annual verity is not as pretty as the perennial verities. There are about 300 verities. You may have seen these beautiful flowers in arrangements at a funeral arrangement or in a fine hotel lobby arrangement. They are so beautiful. They are the most beautiful, but the do better in Northern conditions. Larkspur Conolidce is an annual and will do well her in the South. They need cool weather to get started. They are all shades of blue, purple, pink, and white. They need rich well drained soil.They do come up during the winter. They may be less than six inches tall by early Spring. When it starts getting warm, they take off growing. They may reach three to four feet tall by the time they start blooming. You may not have the seeds now because the stores are doing Christmas things now. When the seeds come in January, you can sow them then. They may not get as tall, but you can save the seeds for next Thanksgiving. There is a negative though. They are toxic to cattle and humans. They are not food. You do not eat them Once you grow them, I am sure that you will never be without them from now on.
Have you ever thought about bare root plants?Arbor Day tree planting season is celebrated in South Carolina on the first Friday of December. Planting trees,(large, fruit, rare, or hard to find) are a better bargain by ordering bare root plants. Bare root plants are trees, shrubs roses, vines, and herbaceous perennials that are sold by mail order without soil around their roots. They are devoid of leaves, because they are dug and shipped during the dormant season. High quality plants are harvested during Fall and Winter . The soil is washed off, then dipped in a clay-based slurry to coat and protect the roots from drying out. They are then packed in damp peat moss, wood chips or shredded paper, then placed in plastic bags. they are then boxed and shipped. It may be a shock at first to see sticks with roots. If you will treat them like you love them, it will not be long until you really do. Check your package as soon as you get them. make sure you moisten them immediately. It would be wise to plant them right away. if you have to wait, store them in a cool dark space until you can get to them. make sure you spread the roots out so that they do no girdle. Make sure that the trunk is level to the top of the ground. too deep and girdling is just a disaster in the making. Be sure to mulch. that helps with temperature and moister .
Autumn is such a beautiful time of year. It is especially pretty right now around here. We are in our peak. Some leaves are more beautiful than Spring flowers. As beautiful as they are, some cringe at the thoughts of the work to deal with the leaves. It is OK to just mow them into the lawn as long as they don’t get to thick. It will serve as mulch and that is a good thing. If they are to thick, rake them up and use them in your flower beds as mulch. You will be surprised at how fast they will decompose . And of course, they are a must in the compost pile. One plea is to PLEASE do NOT let them go to the storm drains. It causes all kind of problems downstream . It is so valuable in the yard. It is so harmful in the drains .Thank you for helping with that.
When I think Daffodils, I think Spring. There is nothing like seeing a field of yellow blooms. They are deer resistant, unlike many other bulbs. There are advantages and disadvantages to having these beautiful flowers, You have to let the leaves die down, and may take up until June to do so. In a field, it doesn’t matter. But in the garden, It can take up the space you need to plant your Summer bed. They can also be unsightly. To remedy that, just plant short ones. You still have the color without a mass of dying leaves. There are early, mid, and late blooming verities. If they are mixed in a bed, you will have blooms form Valentine until Easter. How could you complain with that?
You know that it is fall bulb planting time when it starts getting cold, especially after a frost. I get excited at this time because I know that what I do now will determine how beautiful my Spring will be. The bulbs need the cold to develop roots to grow their bounty . Tulips, Daffodils Hyacinths ,and Crocus are among the favorite. However there are many more. As a general rule, they should be planted where they will get 6 hours of sun in a well drained soil. Bulbs like crocuses and scillas can be planted beneath deciduous trees. These bulbs can satisfy most of their light needs before the tree leafs out. You plant the bulbs 3to 4 times the depth of the size of the bulb. It is not that important if you plant them upside or not. They will adopt to that.
It’s Tulip time. I mean planting Tulip time. I personal visualize the bed in full bloom as I plant. The Spring almost always surpass what I visualize. Have you ever wondered where they came from, or just thought they came from Holland? Some species are indigenous to Turkey, where they have been cultivated for many years. But, the majority come from the mountainous regions of Central Asia.They can be found growing there today. They are much smaller bulbs than the ones we are use to today because of hybridization. I ordered some wild Tulips that comes from the island of Crete,Tien-Shan Mountains China,even Afghanistan and Tibet. I can’t wait to see how they do. I will let you know this Spring
It is going to be beautiful here very soon. The mountains of North Carolina is in there peak right now. The foothills will be next, then us here in the Piedmont of North Carolina. There are reasons the leaves are turning. I always just enjoy the season, But I have found out why they turn. We all know that the green in leaves is Chlorophyll. That is what photosynthesizes into food for the plant to grow. There is also Carthaginians that is not visible until the weather changes to short days and cooler temperatures. That causes the photosynthesis stops and the sugars in the leaves turn color and is reviled.
It seems most flowers that bloom in Autumn are yellow, especially the Native ones. There is one blooming now ( yellow) that is the greatest. It is Swamp Sunflowers. They can get 8 feet tall. They spread underground. That is why many people do not want them. If you start early, you can pull all the unwanted ones. Most do not know that you can trim them up till July. That can make you have an enormous showing in the fall. I like to start low and do it in layers to get the most results.
I started my spinach this week. I planted seeds. It is a little late for seeds, but they are in a micro climate area. By that I mean that there is a wall beside them and shrubs near them, so it is protected from wind and cold. It is warmer than most of my yard. It is a good time to sow some lettuces also. If you are a new gardener and have not prepared a bed, I have an idea for you. Take a hoe and clear a spot and buy a bag of really good potting mix. Make sure that the soil is at least 2 inches high. Sow your seeds and fertilize them with organic after they come up. It may now be the best thing, but it is so much better than store bought. Most seasoned farmers pluck individual leaves and keep the plant going. I had rather plant thick and pull up what I want. It is easier to prepare them over a sink than bent over picking them.
Autumn is her upon us and it is a GREAT time to collect seeds. Most perennials are better divided, but annuals are good for seeds. I ordered some new seeds this spring and I have collected enough seeds for a community.Wait until the bloom has died and turned brown before you pick them. I have a friend that started collecting this year and would pick the flower before the seed could get ripe. In fact one such occasion, there were still blooms on the stem. Do not store them in plastic. they will sweat and mold. Paper is much better.