We’ve all seen it–one quick frost and all of your beautiful flowers and plants turn to green mush. Of course, the obvious answer is to bring them inside, but where do you put them? How much light do they need? How much water do they need? These things will all change when you move your plants to a different environment, and the shock of the change may be as damaging as the cold.
Here are a few ideas to help tender plants and gardeners survive the cold together:
- First, make sure your plants are in loose, sandy soil or a potting mix, and your pot has holes in the bottom. If the moisture can’t drain off your plant the roots will surely rot.
- Next, Find a nice sunny spot in your home, preferably a south-facing window. Artificial light will work, but use florescent bulbs. The heat from incandescent bulbs will dry your plant out very quickly.
- Make sure the temperature stays above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, anything lower than that and you might as well have left them to the elements. Also, don’t sit your container plants too close to cold windows.
- Avoid drafty places near vents or frequently opened doors–your plants will dry out quickly. For most tender plants, the soil should be moist but not wet. Check your soil’s moisture daily.
- If you have potted tuberous plants that grow from bulbs or rhizomes like caladiums, tulips or dahlias, you can store those pots inside in a dark cool place, like a closet or cabinet.
As gardeners we have an opportunity to be a little more in tune to the changes and happenings as the seasons change. Migrating birds, the coming and going of pesky insects, clouds of pollen, budding, blooming, and eventually, seeding are all things that pass under the nose of the ever-observant gardener. Watching nature can teach you so much about your own garden. One of the biggest questions we get is, “when do I plant this?” The answer for most shrubs, trees, bulbs, and perennials will almost always be: “in the fall.”
Wildflowers, trees, and shrubs all seed in the fall in nature- the summer is filled with fruit and blooms, but the seeds don’t hit the ground until fall. They spend the winter dormant and sprout up right on time in the spring. This works just as well with bulbs and bare-root plants shipped in the fall. They spend their dormant period searching the ground with their roots, slowly becoming established, and they will have a huge leap on any plants planted in the spring.
It is not necessary to plant in the fall, most plants will do just fine as long as the ground isn’t frozen, but the fall planting season is ideal for most varieties. You will have earlier blooms and more productive plants in the following spring and summer.
Native to Turkey, tulips were in cultivation long before they traveled West with Ambassador Busbecq in the mid-1550’s, and many colors and forms must have been present before German artist Konrad Gesner published his famous illustration in 1559 of a long-stemmed, red-flowered tulip. But this painting was the first glimpse Europeans had ever seen of a tulip, and the reaction was electric.
The painting was made from a tulip variety growing in the Imperial Garden of Vienna. Carolus Clusius was the head of that Garden, a good friend of Busbecq, and a passionate gardener. When he accepted an appointment at Leiden University in Holland, he brought tulips with him.
It is believed that the first tulips flowered in Holland in 1594, in the garden Clusius had planted the year before. An avid tulip breeder, Clusius cultivated an enormous tulip garden and offered his new varieties for sale at outrageous prices. Many local gardeners responded by slipping into Clusius’s gardens and digging up their favorites. By the early 1600s, tulip growing was changing from a gardening passion into a business.
Tulip Mania began in earnest in 1634, fueled by a virus that caused tulip petals to become wildly streaked with bold colors. (Today’s Rembrandt Mix is the closest contemporary tulip to these Dutch classics.) No two flowers looked exactly alike, and everyone wanted them. Florists even developed a special ceramic vase called a tulipiere to hold each stem separately, so that the blooms could be enjoyed individually rather than massed together.
Fortunes were made and lost overnight in tulip speculation. Single bulbs were auctioned for outrageous prices, and ships that sank or cargo that rotted ruined potential investors. Finally the entire enterprise crashed in 1637. Interestingly, this exact phenomenon was repeated in the Turkish market in the early 1700s.
Tulips remain one of the most popular bulbs in the world, with new varieties developed every year. Treat your garden to the plant that rocked Europe and created a sensation in the economic fortunes of thousands! Until Monday, September 10th, all of these gorgeous flowers are up to 40% off. Choose your favorites, and enjoy your own Tulip Mania!
It's September – temperatures are dropping. The fall planting season is upon us, and Wayside Gardens has plenty of fresh flower bulbs stacked and ready to go. You can smell them walking through the coolers, a crisp, earthy smell. By the middle of this month, we will be shipping to most zones, and these living packages of beautiful botanical potential will be nestled into your garden, waiting for spring.
Flower bulbs really are great – a fun and simple project for novice gardeners, and a wide brush full of bright paint for those veteran garden artists looking to dump huge amounts of quick color into their landscape design.
There are a couple of dazzling new and unique flowers in our bulb line-up this year. Please check out the tulips 'Black Jewel' and 'Doll's Minuet' – I promise, they are like no tulips you've seen before. Another featured favorite this year is Colchicum 'Water Lily' – these large sprawling bloom actually look like floating waterlilies. Make sure to check out the rest of our fall flower bulbs.
Use Mulch and Ground Covers
Planting ground-covers and using mulch to fill in your fall beds will make it more difficult for unwanted weeds to establish themselves, helping you to naturally maintain your garden. The ground-cover both smothers potential weeds, blocking out the light,
and helps your current plants by holding in moisture and maintaining a
You will be working in your garden to remove all of your weeds before planting anything this fall anyway, why not plant something to take up space to help keep them from coming back.
Clean Up the Summers Growth Before Planting for Fall
Removing all of the excess plant material before planting new crops is essential for the success of your fall bulbs, flowers, and vegetables. Annual weeds can be removed with a hoe or by hand. Perennial weeds must be completely dug out to prevent future growth.
Tulips are generally impressive, the varieties available from Wayside Gardens this fall are no exception. These new tulips offer an exciting new perspective on an old garden classic. Breeders have definitely taken a few liberties with the traditional tulip blooms and foliage, often looking more like some impressionist rendering of a tulip than a simple flower.
Tulipa 'Doll's Minuet' is a perfect example of these dynamic tulip varieties. The deep rosy petals twist and dance out of the bud like a slowly growing fire. This is one flower that will have your garden guests doing double-takes.
Another beautiful new tulip, Tulipa 'Black Jewel', has deep maroon, frilled petals with tiny sparkles of gold flecks on their tips. It is a very classy and intriguing flower with long sturdy stems perfect for cut-flower arrangements.
Bulbs will ship in the fall for fall planting. Remember, fall is the best time of the year for planting!