Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Whispers Of Fall

Now that Fay has had her say, a softer voice can be heard. From amongst the leggy annuals and ever-spreading perennials comes the faint whisper of Fall. I heard it the first time as talk of a "back to school" sale came from my car radio. I caught a whiff of it that same week as I eyed my mature pecan tree that had just been struck by lightning. The bark had been blown off to reveal an almost elegant trailing scar. Would the tree drop its bounty of tasty nuts or its very branches come Autumn, I wondered.

I had to leave Savannah for a weekend trip to hear Fall's voice more clearly. My husband and I drove to Mountain City, Tennessee, and when we arrived, Fall was dancing through the trees. "When are you coming to Savannah? " I asked. My question was given a cool reception, because Fall had hardly been there long enough to change the color of the leaves.

Wild turkeys rushed by me like pigeons in Central Park. Had a distant Thanksgiving breeze found them during their late August foraging? Nature offers few things better than a soul-cleansing gust of wind. It clears the mind of meaningless chatter, raises goose bumps that weren't visible all Summer, and there is something else. For Southern gardeners, it awakens the desire to plant again.

The first batch of Fall veggies have found their way to our store. They haven't said much to the herbs on the rack beside them. In time, I'm sure they will be learn to work together. Collards, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cabbage, and even Brussels Sprouts are waiting for you.

Have you thought about your Fall garden? How is the soil? Before you are tempted too much with new Fall flowers, shrubs, and trees, take the time to amend your beds. Make everything perfect for new arrivals. Mushroom Compost, Farmer D's Compost, Worm Castings, and many others offer nutrition to future residents.

Marigolds are good companion plants for veggies, because they attract beneficial insects and repel some bad ones as well. The variety of colors that we've just gotten in are also good for borders and mixed containers.

By planting your Fall containers early, they will have time to fill out. Early planting also allows you to save money by purchasing younger plants. You can spoil them with regular liquid fertilizer and quality potting soil so that in a month your affordable plants will have grown into beautiful show stoppers.

Those of you looking to stretch your gardening dollar should take advantage of less than fabulous looking perennials that we've got on sale. The tops of some of these 50% off plants may look a little long in the tooth, but the roots have had a long time to grow, and this will enable them to take hold at your house quite well. Take care to tease the roots apart before planting. It's like helping a house guest off with his coat. He's likely to stick around a lot longer.

We hope to see you soon.

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