Fall is a great time to plant annuals in your yard for color all winter long and into spring.
What to plant you say? Here’s a list of our favorites and how to use them, almost all of them grown locally by Fredriks Nursery!
Sweet Peas – known for their sweet fragrance in the spring, sweet peas are often overlooked until they bloom at which time it is too late to plant here in the Central Valley. Best time to plant is in October whether by seed or start for their spring bloom. They will need a fine support system like trellis netting for their delicate little tendrils to wrap around as they grow. Dwarf “self supporting” varieties are available and are great additions to containers or hanging baskets. Grow in part to full sun.
Calendula a.k.a. Pot Marigold (not pictured) – this annual is the the Marigold of the winter. Considered a mid range -tall growing flower for fall, the bright and cheery flower petals are edible and used in salads, soups and to color soaps and other homemade concoctions. Grow in part to full sun.
Cyclamen – I like to call them the Queens of the Winter. Not really an annual but more like a bulb, Cyclamen give non-stop color until the warm spring days arrive. Available in white, white with purple eye, pink, rose, purple, red, wine red and even in colors flamed with white. Super cute minis are available too. Plant cyclamen in the ground, containers or hanging baskets. Keep them blooming the best with regular fertilizing and deadheading by plucking the entire spent flower stem, do not cut. Grow them in shade, part shade or a cool, sunny spot. When they tire out in the warm days of spring, set them aside in a cool, dry area and water occasionally through the summer. Beginning in September when you see new leaves sprout, water regularly and fertilize and they will come back in to bloom for the winter! (more…)
Tips for keeping your pumpkins & ornamental squash fresh
1. Keep them dry – especially underneath. Moisture from below will begin decomposition and rotting.
2. Do not mar the skin – pumpkins have thick outer skin for protection. If the skin is scraped, scratched or poked the pumpkin will begin to rot.
3. Don’t waste them – bake them! Many of the pumpkins and ornamental squash are tasty and great for baking after the season.
Happy Pumpkin Season!
Did you know that drip systems put out VERY LITTLE water at one time? Drip emitters either put out as little as 1/2 gallon and up to 4 gallons of water per hour. This depends on which emitter was purchased and installed. If you are not putting enough water on your plants at each...Read more →
In the early morning dawn,
He would talk and touch me.
George would often walk with me.
George is gone now.
But the love, the walk, and the touch
Will always be.
The Cat (more…)
Photo credit: Darla
This time of year we get a lot of questions as to why a vigorous tomato plant does not have any fruit on it. The blossoms drop off right at the “elbow” above the bloom. This is caused by a few different factors.
- Extreme temperature swings – Having 20 degree + temperature swings from one day to another can cause this. Obviously this is out of our control.
- Lack of calcium, lack of fertilizer or wrong fertilizer – have you fertilized? Maybe you did when you first planted but it might be time to reapply! Check the package for specifications or read our recommendation for fertilizing vegetables, here. Avoid fertilizers with high nitrogen (the first number on the label). You can also use a supplemental spray to help blossom set. Find it in store.
- Lack of pollination – technically tomatoes are self pollinating but sometimes they need a little help. Give the tomato support or cage a gentle shake often times helps.
- Too much shade – like any fruiting plant, they need lots of sun to produce. Generally a minimum of 4 hours a day but 6 hours or more is better.
- Overwatering – this is generally the problem. Tomatoes, unlike other plants, need to be stressed in order to set fruit. Otherwise you will have large, lush plants and little to no fruit!
How to water tomato plants
It is best to keep the leaves dry and only water the plants when they actually begin to wilt, typically every 7-10 days once established. A large plant with lots of fruit may need it every 4-5 days during a heat spell. When watering, do so thoroughly and deeply. Please note, this applies only to tomatoes in the ground. Potted tomato plants will need water more frequently but still only when wilting. However, make sure the plant is wilting in the evening, if it is wilting in the afternoon but looks okay in the evening it doesn’t need water!
Still not sure? Drop by and speak to one of our experts!
It’s California’s Finest!
When you imagine a “California friendly” yard, you might think of a dry landscape with gravel, a dry river bed, and a few plants that add a bit of greenery to the space. But, that’s not your only California friendly landscaping option. Recently, I visited a garden in Modesto that is a prime example of a lovely lush living space that would entice any homeowner to step outside in the valley heat. This green thumbed gardener lets her yard soak up the rain in the spring and hand waters only once a week in the summer!
A healthy mix of varieties can keep your yard blooming all year round. Gardening with plants that spread can also help by smothering those pesky weeds!
Native grasses can certainly add a beautiful backdrop to other garden elements such as natural stones, rocks, and bricks.
Save a special space for succulents! They can thrive in this area as long as you remember to protect them from frost in the winter. They can also help you create a larger than life fairy garden for all ages to enjoy!
Create some shady areas so you can enjoy your garden during the valley heat wave. This gardener created a dramatic pathway leading to the backyard, making even a short walk to the backyard very enjoyable.
Tip: It’s ok if your California plants go a bit dormant in the summer, just like we do. They love the spring and fall, but mostly try and survive during the summer.
The Building Blocks for Creating Structure in your Stylish Space.
Another way of describing your yard is architecture in its natural form. Think of the architecture of your favorite building…it has style, strength and the capacity to take your breath away just by gazing upon it. Well, your yard can have the same effect and here’s how:
Fill your space appropriately. Most yards can handle large trees and shrubs. Adding large “structural” elements to your yard can in fact make your yard seem larger than it is. By creating layers of sizes and shapes, it leaves your mind wondering if there is more beyond the layers and searching for that secret garden.
Even the smallest structures can have a grand impact. Create visual drama with a simple boxwood by using the artful elements of line and design. Then fill the gaps with your favorite budding beauty.
Leave plenty of space to stair step your structure…small shrubs in front, medium in the middle, and large in the back. This layering technique is sure to take you to the top of the home and garden favorites.
If you are stripping your yard of sod, then don’t be afraid to fill it with large shrubs and trees. Define your space the way you would like to be defined so you and your garden will be happy.
Thank you to the Crinklaw’s for providing an inspiring setting and allowing me to take photos for this blog.
Barberry; the plant of many colors.
Do you ever want the plant that has it all? A variety of colors, drought tolerant, full sun and little-to-no pruning. Well, look no further…Barberry is the match for you.
This plant will add great interest to your yard, but is still easy to maintain. Here are a few varieties, but come in to pick your favorite!
Disclaimer: Barberry is as it’s name describes, it has barbs which makes it a great barrier plant as well.
Cabernet variety. Photo Credit: Bailey Nurseries