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By Don Wright
Aug 22, 2015





Everyone looks forward to Autumn, cool evenings begin to set in,
sitting on the front porch enjoying the night air, the start of football
season, and our leaves begin their spectacular fall show of color.
Brilliant reds, yellows and oranges dot the landscape in a show
of force. Color may be the first thing you see, but when trees and
shrubs drop their leaves they can reveal much more. Red berries and
exfoliating bark can be the real show underneath all those leaves.

The Ginkgo Biloba tree is a stunning example of a bright
yellow show of leaves in the fall. These trees can grow to
over 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide, and make an excellent
shade tree. During the year the tree has fan-shaped green leaves
that flutter in the breeze. When the night temperatures begin to
cool, the tree transforms into a golden masterpiece.

Perhaps you prefer red. From the Autumn Blaze Maple to a
Burning Bush or Firepower Nandina, you can plant
something that people will see from a distance. Whereas the
Maple and the Burning Bush
lose their leaves, the Nandina
has “staying power” and does not drop leaves during the winter so
they can continue to show color.

The American Beauty Berry, a Georgia native plant, is a beautiful
shrub with long stems, distinctive pink flowers that produce brightly
colored purple berries for lasting color in your garden.

The Blue Muffin Viburnum, gives us year round help
starting with snowy white flowers in the spring only then
to produce a beautiful brilliant blue berry in the fall. This
fruiting ornamental shrub also makes a great compact hedge.

It is not too late to get started with your own color
landscape. In the professional landscape industry, planting
goes on year-round. However, fall is the best time of year to
plant in terms of root growth and plant establishment.
Unlike the tops of woody ornamental plants that go dormant and
cease growth for the winter, roots continue to grow throughout the
winter months. During the fall, the above-ground portion of a plant
begins slowing down its growth as it moves toward
dormancy. As a result, it makes little demand on the roots.
Therefore, the energy produced via photosynthesis during
the previous season can be directed toward root growth. When spring
arrives and a new growing season begins, the plant has a well-established root
system ready to provide the necessary water and nutrients for optimum plant growth which is
necessary for plants to survive our long, hot summers.

Soil preparation and planting are perhaps the most critical of all
landscape practices. Proper planting assures rapid plant establishment
and healthy growth. Haphazard planting is like sentencing plants to
lifelong stress and suffering, making them more susceptible to injury,
pests, drought, and cold. If you are unsure about the condition of your
soil, take the time to do a soil test. Good results start with good soil.

Soil amendments might be necessary if the existing soil is lacking the
proper structure, although there is no exact recipe. An ideal soil is one
that contains air space for good drainage, yet has good water holding
capacity, some mineral matter to provide the soil chemistry necessary
for nutrient absorption, and a small amount of organic matter to
supply slow-release nutrients.

Proper planting involves more than simply digging a hole and sticking
a plant in it. It all starts with digging the proper hole for your plant.
Pay close attention to the width, give your plant room to put out new
surface roots and make sure of the depth, not too deep, and keep the
existing root ball at or slightly above the ground line. It may also be a
good idea to place a light ground cover over the root ball, but be sure
not to smother your plant.

So with all that said, seek out healthy plants, grab your shovel, and
give your plants their best chance with careful soil preparation and
planting. Then sit back and enjoy
the fruits of your labor.

Now is the time to “Get Growing”! Southern Home & Ranch Garden Center.
is the place to come for all your plants, shrubs, trees and planting needs,
so turn on the COLOR. WE CAN HELP!

Please be sure to “Come by and Visit”, hope to see you soon...

*Excerpts from "GA Certified Plant Professional Manual".

Southern Home & Ranch Garden Center