FALL PLANTING

This is usually the time of year where customers phone in a panic wondering if it is too late to plant. Much to their surprise, I respond to them by saying they are too early – wait till September.

Why? It is more logical to plant in the Fall. By September, our weather changes from blistering heat and droughts to cooler temperatures and rain. This decreases the heat and water loss stresses on plants. Also, with the dropping of leaves there is less water loss since leaves are not transpiring. In the end, this equates to you not standing at the end of a watering hose everyday making sure your plantings are watered.

The most fascinating point about Fall planting is what happens below the ground. Ground temperatures stay at a constant 56F till December, depending on the weather. With the lack of activity above ground (no leaves photosynthesizing) the roots establish and grow undisturbed. By next spring, the roots are well anchored and the plant ready to burst into spring.

From a frugal point of view, the Fall is the best time to purchase. Most nurseries are down sizing their stock and usually great deals are to be had. So, bottom line, relax and wait for the Fall and then plant all those great deals.

THE STATE OF THE BIRDS

A very complex subject. 25% of our bird species are declining, and rapidly. Other species, such as waterfowl and raptors are increasing. Many, many factors from banning DDT to international agreements on bird breeding grounds have influenced bird populations.

At home, we have to realize one startling fact. Birds are starving to death. If you want to increase populations and save them from the brink of extinction you have to have food available. And lots of it – especially for migratory birds. Birds usually prefer their native berries since they have co evolved with these plants. However, there are some shrubs that our birds love that aren’t native.

I am referring to the currant family. We have purposely sought out the old heirloom black and red currants on farms that birds persistently visit. Now we have black currants ready. Remember, share the berry wealth. Or even better, every bush you plant for yourself plant one for our feathered friends. They will thank you for it.

Check our inventory for currant numbers and availabilities.

NORTHERN CATALPA TREE

Being a nursery, many people ask what trees should they plant. One of my top suggestions is the northern catalpa tree. When they are in bloom they are undeniable. A giant orchid! Needless to say, that when they are blooming they are pollinator magnets. Be sure to plant northern not southern catalpa since the southern type is too fragile for some of our Ontario winters.

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This particular catalpa by our front porch is only 18 years old. They grow relatively quickly with very little maintenance. To find out more on the magnificent tree check out our website and the northern catalpa article.

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