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Gardening with Laurie: Lawns still need water during cooler weather

Oct. 27, 2011 at 5:27 a.m.

Laurie Garretson

By Laurie Garretson

The calendar tells us that it's fall, you know cool pleasant weather and beautiful days. Even though our temperatures have cooled down, do not assume that your lawn and plants don't still require water. This means you still need your sprinkler system and garden hoses. Many people think that fall-like weather means plants are OK without water. Unfortunately, that's not the case, especially in times of drought like we have been experiencing. Some predictions say that we will have a warmer winter and that the drought is to continue. The point is, your landscape needs to be watered if we don't get any measurable rain.

Garden trends, just like other trends, seem to come and go. Apparently, one trend that many gardeners, but not all, are tired of planting is fall mums. I myself have noticed a steep drop in the demand for garden mums in the past couple of years. Talking to several plant growers confirms this. For some reason, the general gardening population has become bored with mums. So, instead of mums, I think that marigolds could be a good substitution. Marigolds come in many of the same colors as mums; gold, yellow and orange. Marigolds also have a variety of different flower types and sizes. Marigolds also will provide color longer than garden mums would.

If you have roses and didn't get around to cutting them back last month, you can do it now. It won't hurt cutting on them now, it will only delay the blooming cycle. And keep in mind that if you grow antique roses, they do not have to be cut back. The main reason to prune them is to create and keep the shape of the shrub in our gardens. A light pruning will encourage blooms on all types of roses. Fall is a good time to add any new container-grown roses to your landscape.

The fall season is the best time of year to add many different types of plants to our yards. After the hot dry summer we have just gone through, many people are having to replace many plants that just couldn't make it. If you are thinking about replanting and redesigning your yard, take some time to think about it. There is no rush to plant. The planting season runs through March for most of our area.

A beautiful, functional landscape can take some thought and planning. Take the time to draw out a simple plan. This way you will have some direction. Resist the urge to buy the first pretty plant you see. Chances are you'll get it home and then decide it just is not right for your landscape.

Until next time, let's try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to laurie@vicad.com or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.

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