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Fall Color

Dr. Rick gives us the technical reasons for the beautiful fall leaf
colors. From Eastern U.S. to Canada, some parts of Western U.S., Eastern Asia and S.W. Europe, these are the only places in the world that get vivid leaf color. That is because they have Broadleaf Deciduous forests. During Spring and Summer leaves serve as factories where foods necessary for plant growth are manufactured. At that point there is an abundance of Chlorophyl (the substance that gives plants their green color). Yellow and orange are present but masked by the Chlorophyl. Leaves change colors because chemical processes in the tree change as Summer turns to Winter. In the Fall partly because of shorter days and cooler nights, leaves stop their food making, the Chlorophyl breaks down, the green color disappears and Yellow and Orange become visible. This is what gives leaves their splendid Fall color.

Fall conditions that favor abundant color are warm days and cool nights
with temperatures below 45 degrees. During warm sunny days sugar is
made, if it is cool at night the metabolism of the plant slows down.
This prevents the movement of sugar from the leaves resulting in intense color. Color on the same tree may vary from year to year depending upon the weather.

Visit To Saul's Nursery

Dr. Rick and Judy Knesel visit this unique nursery. People are looking
for Fall plants in addition to Pansies. They want plants that tolerate
cold weather, yet are colorful and unique. We see some beautiful
examples. Several plants discussed are: Yucca Filamentosa, Garland Gold, Pinus Palustris, Long Leaf Pine, Cryptomeria Japonica, Yellow Twig, Cryptomeria Japonica, Black Dragon, Brassica Oleracea Nagoya, White Imperial, Cryptomeria Japonica, Araucaroides, Chamaecyparis Octusa, Nana Gracili, Dwarf Minoken Cupress, Rosmarinus Officinalis, Rosemary, Origanum Vulgare, Golden Oregano.

Fall Flowers - Tartarian Daisy and Joe Pye Weed

Dr. Rick shows us two plants that do very well in the Fall. Tartarian Daisy. Most of the year this looks like a weed. It is beautiful in the late Fall and blooms from September through November. Its' blooms are Lavender with a strong Yellow center. It is adaptable, likes full sun or shade, thrives on plenty of moisture growing to between 5 and 7 feet tall, if kept dry it is well behaved and short. Joe Pye Weed. Dr. Rick specifically likes Eupatorium Rugosum "Chocolate." It is filled with white or cream colored clusters of flowers and has a chocolate stem. It loves full sun, tolerates some shade and needs a well drained soil.

Planting Fall Fescue Grass

Fall is the best time to seed Fescue. We show you how. First mow the
area to remove sticks, stones, Pine cones, etc., to insure good soil to
seed contact. In this case we have previously sprayed with a herbicide
to kill all weeds and grass. We use a motorized seeder, it makes grooves in the soil and spreads the seed. Set the seeder to make grooves about one quarter inch deep and put fescue seed in the hopper. You should use 6 pounds per 1,000 square feet. We set at 3 pounds per thousand square feet, apply, then set at 3 pounds per thousand square feet and apply in the opposite direction. Then apply a 20-27-5 fertilizer. The 20 is Nitrogen, the 27 is phosphorous and the 5 is potassium. Apply 5 pounds of fertilizer per thousand square feet. Then water. The first couple of days water every day, after 3 or 4 days water every other day, then after a week or so every 3rd or 4th day, after a couple of weeks, just once a week. In no time you should see a green lawn.

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GardenSMART Featured Article

By Monrovia Nursery Company
Photographs by Doreen Wynja for Monrovia

Monrovia has put together a list of their top 10 flowering annuals, perennials and shrubs that can bring life and cheer to you garden ASAP. For an interesting article, click here .

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