Getting Your Garden Ready for Winter

on Thursday, 31 October 2019.

Leave the Leaves!

leaves 20163145791The nights are getting down below freezing. Fall color has come and gone and leaves are falling fast. Our summer songbirds have been replaced by winter residents like dark-eyed juncos, golden-crowned sparrows, and hermit thrushes. The signs are inescapable – it’s time to start transitioning our gardens into winter mode. 

 

Even though the sounds of leaf blowers are everywhere, there are some really powerful and compelling reasons to leave those leaves right in your garden. This fall, instead of bagging your fallen leaves and putting them out on the curb, consider raking them on top of your garden beds instead. Why?

  • Creating a leaf much for your garden beds is the equivalent of tucking your plants in with a nice warm blanket. Mulched leaves help insulate plant roots against extreme cold snaps and are a great way to help insulate your perennials over the winter.
  • Fallen leaves – and the dead stalks from this summer’s perennials - provide shelter for overwintering beneficial insects and pollinators (native bees, butterflies, etc.). These beneficials will more than repay you next year by helping to control any garden pests that might try to get established. Once cold weather has passed, you can prune back your perennials to get them ready for their spring growth.
  • Your leaf mulch will break down within a few months; creating a free source of nutrients for your plants. Leaving the leaves is also a really simple way to introduce more organic material into your soil; something that’s beneficial to all soil types.

Finally, if you absolutely cannot stand to have leaves on your garden beds, this is a great time to start a compost pile. Add green trimmings, vegetable scraps, manure, and turn a few times over the winter and – voila! – you’ll have fresh rich compost ready for next spring’s growing season!

Fall Berries are for the Birds!

on Thursday, 10 October 2019.

Cedar waxwing

Not only do fall and winter berries add a splash of color to your yard during our gray Oregon winters, but they're also an important food source for many of our migrating and wintering songbirds - like robins, cedar waxwings (left), varied and hermit thrushes, spotted towhees, and Townsend's solitaires. Many berries are rich in fats, and help tide the birds through the cold weather when insect populations ( a favorite bird food!) decline. 

 

Kinnikinick

Native Plants:

Fall-fruiting native plants are at the top of the "favorites" list for our local birds - both as great food sources and for the shelter they provide. Natives also tend to be sturdy and low-maintenance; making them a welcome addition for most landscapes. Some of our favorites for the Rogue Valley and surrounding areas include: AmelanchierArctostaphylos, Mahonia, Myrica, Rhamnus, Rosa, Symphoricarpos, and Vaccinium ovatum (evergreen huckleberry). 

 

Non-Native Plants: 

Autumn oliveThere are also a number of hardy non-native shrubs and that are great winter food sources for  birds, and these plants also provide some nice visual interest for our fall and winter gardens. They include a number of plants already popular with local gardeners: Aronia, Autumn Olive (photo to left), Carnelian Cherry, Crabapple, Dogwood, Hawthorn, Holly, and Virginia Creeper.

Fall is a great time of year to add to your wildlife-friendly garden. The warm soil and cool air help your new plants get off to a great start - with roots having a chance to get established and grow out over the winter. And the overwintering birds in your yard will thank you! 

Fall is the best time for planting

on Monday, 05 August 2019. Posted in Landscape contractor, Classes

Fallscaping- the benefits of fall planting

Fall is in the air.  It may not seem like it with the smoke and the temps still in the 90s.  But the days are getting shorter and we know that cooler temperatures and autumn rains are right around the corner.  

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You won't want to miss that prime opportunity to get planting.  Fall is the best time to plant in the Rogue Valley.  Especially higher investment plants like shade trees.  There is less stress involved when transplanting them during cool weather and when they have started to go dormant.  We like to define fall as when we start to get some rain, the days have cooled off and are shorter.  That can mean late September or early to mid October.  The Rogue Valley doesn't have the extreme winters of the east coast, so we can enjoy fall planting into November and December when trees and deciduous shrubs are fully dormant.  

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Top 5 Reasons for Planting in the Fall~

1.  Cool weather means less stress on the plants (and the gardeners!).

2.  The soil is still warm so root growth continues during the fall months; getting the plant better established for the following summer.

3.  You can plant more drought tolerant plants and have to water them less because they will be more established than a spring planting.  If we have a dry fall, you will still need to water deeply until the rain is more consistent.  

4. You can plant more natives and support wildlife and local habitat.  - Natives will have happier roots with a fall planting.

5.  The soil is easier to work with over the wet soils of spring.  So make the most of those crisp autumn days!

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The nursery has a whole series of fall classes to support you in your gardening endeavors.  We are fully stocked for fall, it won't be the dregs left over from summer.   Fall is a great time to add some color or texture to your garden.  Think ornamental grasses, seed heads, and crimson fall leaves.   If you think you need an expert eye on your landscape, contact us about our design and consult services.  Happy Planting!