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What Can I Plant for Fall?


Planting your garden isn’t just a spring thing!   If you are wondering what you can plant in the fall, the answer will be “just about anything.”

I am a little partial to a specific group of plants since I work in the seasonal plant department. If you ask me what to plant in the fall I will tell you: Mums, Flowering Cabbage and Kale, Pansies, Dianthus, Snapdragons, mixed containers with these items—plus, ornamental peppers for that extra bit of bold color.

Fall is the best time to plant your Pansies because the still warm soil temperatures give them plenty of time to produce a good root system leading into the colder temperatures of winter. By planting your Pansies in the fall you will be rewarded with two seasons of total enjoyment out of these cold season favorites.  You should remove all spent flowers so the plant doesn’t use all of its energy to set seed.  You should also keep the soil moist, and, after the ground freezes mulch the plants to reduce freezing and thawing that can heave the plants out of the ground.

Now, let’s talk about Garden Mums. You could search for hours to find that perfect mum for your container or garden! Mums are available in Red, White, Pink, Lavender, Purple and Yellow; and don’t forget the warm Orange and Bronze tones that make them the divas of the fall garden. Blooms last for weeks, and the number of blooms per plant should convince anyone that they really like to strut their stuff in the garden. If you decorate with pumpkins and gourds, then choose mums in orange, bronze, yellow or white. If you have a lot of evergreens in the yard I suggest planting bright pink, lavender, white or red mums to take advantage of the dark backdrop. We now have a wonderful selection of fall mums.  Stop by and take a look for yourself–many are just starting to “crack bud” (that’s horticulture talk for starting to color up), so they are at the perfect stage for you to enjoy for a long time.

by Marian Parsley, Behnke’s Annual Buyer

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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