Hello Hearty Gardeners
A friendly reminder that there’s still time to plant your greens for a fall harvest. Yep, get a 2nd crop of spinach, lettuce and kale. If you planted Chard its probably a hearty rainbow of colors and still going strong. Your kale however has probably gotten tough or rubbery, that is if you’ve had heat this summer. Kale is at its best when tender and to get tender, you have to grow it in cooler temps. Spinach as well. In fact if you plant your kale now, you can have greens through Nov.!! Also, this is a good time to restock your seed packets as most stores will discount their seeds in the fall, and they will be perfectly good next spring and fall! In fact, if you have a Menards near you, their seed packets are deeply discounted and they have a large variety. The only thing I couldn’t find were purple carrots.
As it cools off you can plant your spring bulbs. If you are uncertain how to group your colors, you can find packs of colorful assorted bulbs already grouped together at your big box stores like Home Depot.  For example, you can find Hyacinth paired with Tulips in lovely color groupings. The same with Daffodils. So you see the basic design is prepared for you. Its easy, easy, easy. Plant  early bloomers underneath trees that flower /green up in May. This way you’ll have color in April while waiting for your trees to wake up.  Plant your bulbs together in groups, with at least five bulbs side by side in your hole, with the pointy side up. Throw in a little blood meal, water the bulbs in,and you’re good to go. Its that easy.
spring understory planting
Here is an example of early color under a Redbud which won’t green up and fill out for another month. These are yellow tulips with purple hyacinths.  The ground cover is vinca minor, which has purple flowers that follow the blooms of the tulips. Some white daffodils with yellow centers follow the tulips as well.  The bulb packages are labeled  according to their bloom times, early spring, mid spring, and late spring. This way you can plan your spring bulb garden to have successive blooms in April, May and early June.

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