A Planting Time For October And Evergreens

By Thomas Fryd

October brings a change in the air and things to do outdoors in the landscape or garden. Here are a few quick reminders that will payoff when the Spring shows up.

Continue to Plant Evergreens

Transplant evergreens in deep, rich soil, mixing peat moss, well-rotted manure or compost to retain moisture and encourage strong root growth. Select upright yews for accent in the foundation planting and box-leaf holly or Japanese pieris for foliage contrast. Viburnums, azaleas and rhododendrons are excellent subjects under oaks and high branching trees.

Fall Planting of Roses

Plant roses in well prepared soil that is rich in organic matter. If they cannot be planted immediately upon arrival, heel in a foot deep trench by placing them at a 45 angle and working soil around roots before covering them completely. If plants come too late and cannot be planted, they may be kept in a trench all winter. Cut back rose canes to 12-15 inches and for winter protection, mound earth 7-8 inches around the stems just before the ground freezes.

Consider the Lawn

Continue mowing lawn 1 1/2 inches to two inches high as long as it grows. Rake leaves and put on compost pile, otherwise they will mat and harbor diseases. Dig out weeds like crab-grass, plaintain and dandelions and re-seed bare spots. During dry periods, water newly sown lawns so that the roots will become well established before cold weather.

Caring for Trees

Guy newly planted trees or foxtail palm and brace or cable those with weak crotches and limbs to prevent winter injury from snow and winter winds. Near the first branches, stretch and tightly fasten guy wires to stakes, four to five feet from the tree trunk, and drive firmly into the ground. Guy wires should remain tightly fastened to newly planted trees during the first two years to allow trees to become fully established.

Plants for Fall Color

Visit gardens and public parks to study plants with very brilliant autumn coloring. Trees that turn a brilliant red are the black tupelo or nyssa, red maple, oxydendrum or sourwood, red oak and sweet gum or liquidambar. Gingko, yellow-wood, birches and tulip tree all take on a lustrous yellow. For contrast against a gray or white wall, use the rock spray or spreading cotoneasters, with long-lasting bright red berries. - 29857

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