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October, 2009

A Celebration of Fall
After enduring a seemingly endless summer of record heat and drought
we are now experiencing cooler temperatures
and have gotten some much needed rain.
We thought this was a great excuse to celebrate the arrival
of fall and a new gardening season.
The nursery is brimming with exciting color, shrubs, and trees
that will get you in the mood to revitalize your landscape!
Mark October 20th through 24th on your calendar
and drop by during the day for refreshments and inspiration.

READY FOR COLOR?


Very few landscapes came through our grueling summer without some damage, and most
of us are anxious to get out and work in our gardens. One fun way to add instant excitement
is with colorful annuals. At this time of year there are so many from which to choose, and
they can be added with abandon to beds, pots, and hanging baskets. Many will bloom heavily
this fall, grow foliage through the winter, and then the well-established plants will burst into
bloom again next spring. Plants with this flowering sequence include snapdragons, calendulas,
petunias, stock, dianthus, phlox, alyssum, mini carnations, and others.
Some plant varieties bloom continuously from the time you set them out, through the
winter, and until the heat of summer returns next year. The viola family (pansies, violas, and
Johnny jump-ups) fall into this category as do cyclamen and primrose. Ornamental cabbage
and kale can be counted on to provide colorful foliages all winter long.
Come in and let us show you all of our wonderful selections and maybe some new
combinations that may surprise you. The main thing is to get out and enjoy working in your
garden as the weather cools down. The Saturday Seminar on annuals is October 24th.

IF YOUR LAWN IS LESS THAN PERFECT


If you have turf areas that have been damaged either by grubworms or by drought, overseed
your lawn with rye grass. You will have a beautiful green lawn which will accentuate your colorful
beds while hiding the damaged lawn. There are now rye grass varieties which stay low and need
little or no mowing. These are a little more expensive but are well worth the investment for many
months of low maintenance green. One other benefit of rye grasses is that they perform equally
well in sun or bright shade.

FALL FERTILIZING is always considered the most important feeding of the year, and after
the extreme summer we have had, it is even more so. Plants are stressed, yellowed, and more
vulnerable than ever to cold damage. Landscape Essentials Fertilizer will help your plants recover
and prepare for the cold weather ahead.
BULBS––NATURE’S TREASURES
‘Fall’ bulbs are such interesting phenomena. You set them out in the fall, and they basically
disappear. Suddenly, sometimes months later, foliage appears. Then when you least expect
it, colorful flowers appear where you barely remember planting bulbs.
There are many different types available. Some should be treated as annuals because they
only perform for a single year. Oh, but what a colorful show they provide! Others such as
narcissus and Dutch iris naturalize (return year after year) and behave more like perennials.
There are a few rules to follow when planting bulbs. Choose sunny areas, work generous
amounts of compost into the soil along with some Landscape Essentials or blood meal. Plant
them in masses. One or two bulbs will not be nearly as satisfying as a large grouping. And
avoid planting bulbs too deeply. A rule of thumb is to plant them as deep as they are tall, i.e.
if a bulb is 2” tall, plant it so that there is 2” of soil over the top.
Our bulbs have just arrived, and they look great! It is best to buy them early so that you get
the best selection; however, planting times will vary with the bulb. Watch your Garden Gazette
Monthly Calendar for planting dates and plan to attend the Bulb Seminar on October 17th.
NOTE: If you want to force bulbs for holiday gifts or decorating, the process should start
this month. Ask for our Forcing Bulbs handout when you come in to purchase your bulbs.
DISASTER OR OPPORTUNITY
If you have lost lawn grass because of drought or grubworms, you are not alone. Virtually
everyone has lost some grass, and in areas where watering was impractical or impossible, whole
lawns died. Many people see this as a disaster, but it can just as easily be viewed as a wonderful
opportunity. Large grassy areas are quickly becoming a thing of the past. They require inordinate
amounts of water, which as populations grow and droughts become more severe, are in shorter
and shorter supply. Also they take a lot of maintenance, and are not ecologically practical.
Our recommendation: As you look out over your landscape, let your imagination run wild!
Contemplate a new or expanded vegetable garden, a deck or patio, an area filled with crushed
granite that allows for outdoor dining, a hammock, or comfortable chairs for lounging. Create
a fun space for your kids to play without worrying about damaging lawn or flower beds. In
other areas you might plan beds full of colorful perennials, many of which are native and take
far less water than grass, but which provide you with endless enjoyment. Herb gardens, cutting
gardens, and a greenhouse are other possibilities. Plantings of shrubs as accents or for privacy
may also work in your landscape. Even a fountain or water feature uses less water than turf.
Finally, imagine finishing your weekly mowing and edging in ten minutes rather than 2+ hours.
Maybe losing that grass wasn’t such a bad thing after all! You can now envision more time with your
kids, fishing, golfing, or other fun activities. For more ideas attend our October 31st Seminar.
WILD COLOR
Wildflowers are a wonderful source of natural, native color,
and they can be used in a variety of ways. In urban areas they can A NEW BULB
be used to brighten neighborhood common areas, medians, and Chasmanthe
landscapes. Plantings of wildflowers in selected spots can cover has been highly
areas where lawn grass has died out. In rural areas, broadcast seeds recommended to us
wherever you can and let them naturalize. Due to the lack of rains as a plant that will
the past two years, not as much seed has been produced, so you naturalize here. The
can help to increase the number and variety of wildflowers. dark green, grass-
Fall is the ideal time to plant wildflower seed. Here are some like foliage is highly
tips for success. Pick sunny areas. To ensure good seed-to-soil attractive, and it
contact, rake areas to be planted with a hard rake if possible. accentuates the spikes
Use only locally grown seed. Our seed is produced in this area of orange or yellow
so you know you are getting varieties that thrive here. Also our flowers that appear
seed selections do not contain grass fillers. You are getting 100%
in the spring. Plant in
wildflower seed.
NOTE: Due to the drought, our native bluebonnets are not areas receiving half to
available in bulk this year. DO NOT purchase or plant bluebonnet full day of sun, in rich,
seed from East Texas or the High Plains as these varieties are well-drained soil.
distinctly different and do not do well here.
HALLOWEEN IS
COMING OCTOBER
Gardening Calendar
Boooo! We love any
a Plant cool weather bedding plants
reason to celebrate, and
Halloween can be one of a Prepare tropical plants for their move indoors
the most fun times of the a Overseed your lawn with winter rye
year. We have a wonder- a Plant Dutch iris, daffodils, naturalizing narcissus,
ful assortment of ‘scary’ grape hyacinths, and chasmanthe
collectibles that will be a Set out root and leafy vegetables as well as veggies in
enjoyed by all ages for the cole family (see vegetable article for more detail)
a Feed your entire landscape
years to come.
a Plant fall blooming perennials
This year we even have
a Scatter wildflower seed
really irresistible dead
a Set out food and water for songbirds and butterflies
pink flamingos to enhance a Spray cold susceptible plants biweekly with liquid
your spooky landscape seaweed/molasses to increase cold tolerance
and impress your neigh- a Create an herb garden
bors. You’ve just got to a Plant cloves of garlic
see them! a Watch for signs of brown patch and treat if
necessary
Start a compost pile... a Add new shrubs and trees to your landscape
leaves, grass clippings, and a Begin to mulch around tender perennials, tropicals,
other organic material from and other cold sensitive plants
your yard and kitchen are a As the weather cools, rediscover the joys of
filled with beneficial minerals, gardening
organisms, and compounds
that can greatly enhance the BIG MONTH FOR VEGETABLES
health of your plants. Collect October is the month when the cool weather garden really
all of your (and your neighbors’) shifts into high gear. It is important to keep feeding your
yard and kitchen ‘waste’ and tomatoes, peppers, squash, beans, and melons. It is also
start a compost pile. important to continue spraying liquid seaweed/molasses to
stop late season spider mites. With the recent rains, fungus
NEW PRODUCT problems such as mildew may appear. Apply whole ground
cornmeal or spray with Plant Wash if necessary.
Invisible Potrisers It is also time to have fun planting additional veggies. If you
We recently found an an- have not already done so, you can set out transplants of broc-
swer to a common problem. coli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale. A wide
It is important for many rea- selection of lettuces can be planted from seed or transplants, as
sons to raise containers off can chard and mustard. Seeds for root crops such as radishes,
of the floor surface. For this beets, carrots, and turnips can also go in now. Buy some pods
purpose pot feet, metal or of your favorite garlic at the grocery store and break them into
wooden trivets, and assorted individual cloves for planting. Spinach requires cooler soils,
scraps of wood have been so wait until mid-October to plant spinach seed. And, don’t
pressed into service. forget to leave room for onions in a few weeks.
Now you can use Potrisers. As always, prepare the soil with fertilizer and plenty of com-
These are small rectangular post then feed monthly during the growing season. Soon you
pieces of recycled tires which will be harvesting the healthiest, best tasting veggies in town.
you can place under your pots
to raise them up just enough. FALL IS FOR PLANTING
Placed properly you cannot There is more truth than ever to this statement since it was very
tell they are there. difficult to set out plants this summer. By planting perennials,
Potrisers are inexpensive ground covers, shrubs, and trees in the fall, you will give them the
and are a great solution to longest time possible to establish their root systems before the heat
the age-old problem of raising of summer arrives next year. The nursery is filled with an excellent
pots. selection of superior landscape plants from which to choose.
334 West Sunset Road Presort Standard
San Antonio, Texas 78209 U. S. Postage
210-824-3772 Paid
www.shadesofgreensa.com San Antonio, Texas 78209
Permit No. 548
Business Hours
Mon. - Sat. 9:00 to 5:00
Sun. 10:00 to 4:00 Address Service Requested

SATURDAY SPRING SEMINARS


October 3 – LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE...After the extreme drought and heat of sum-
mer, good fall maintenance is especially critical. Learn how to heal stressed plants, maintain
healthy plants, control weeds, and prepare your landscape for winter.
October 10 – GRASSES AND FALL PERENNIALS...Grasses are an extremely effective
landscape addition and create a beautiful seasonal look when combined with fall perennials.
October 17 – THE UNDERGROUND WORLD OF BULBS...You may not see much of
your bulbs after you plant them, but they will certainly get your attention when they bloom.
Come learn how to maximize their impact.
October 24 – INTENSIFY THE COLOR IN YOUR LANDSCAPE...The best way to
achieve long lasting color in your landscape is with annuals. We will teach you what you need
to know from design and selection to bed preparation and maintenance.
October 31 – REDESIGNING YOUR LANDSCAPE...The extreme drought and heat of
last summer have made many people aware of the need to rethink their landscapes. Let us give
you some new and unique ideas to make your landscape a more usable part of your life.
Seminars begin at 9:45 am (the coffee will be ready by 9:00).

IT’S TIME FOR BROWN PATCH


As lower nighttime temperatures return this fall, so does the threat of brown patch fungus
disease. To lower your risk of this damaging and persistent disease, do not leave your grass wet
at night and use only organic fertilizers.
If you have had this disease in the past, make a preventative application of whole ground corn-
meal. Otherwise, be vigilant and at the first sign of damage (yellow or brown patches appearing
in your lawn), make a heavier curative application of cornmeal.

NOTE: If you have houseplants that have spent the summer outdoors, it is time to start ac-
climating them before bringing them back indoors. If possible, move them to areas with lower
light, feed them, and just before their move inside either drench the soil with a diluted solution
of orange oil or dust the soil with D.E.
Save the Planet by switching your Garden Gazette to the e-mail format. Please
tell us next time you are in, call us, or e-mail us at gardengazette@sbcglobal.net
(this address is only available for subscription purposes). Please include the address
at which you are currently receiving your newsletter so we can match the names
correctly.

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