- Seed Racer Now through the end of the month is a good time to disperse grass and wildflower seed. They will germinate in the coming months, forming a rosette of foliage. Be absolutely certain you have removed existing vegetation (i.e. Bermuda, St. Augustine or other turfgrass, or any "undesirable weeds") before you seed. Otherwise, you will have a mix of desirable and undesirable plants -- a maintenance nighmare. Removing the weeds later without killing off the good plants will be next to impossible. You will likely lose part of your investment if you do not completely eradicate the undesirables first. Good sources for seeds: Native American Seed (www.seedsource.com) or Wildseed Farms (www.wildseedfarms.com). Both are companies based in Texas.
- Mulch ado... November is a good time to replenish your mulch if you planted before June 2007. If your landscape is younger than June 2007, postpone mulching duties until Valentine's Day. Maintain a blanket of mulch 2-3" thick year-round by mulching 2-3 times per year: Valentine's Day, Fathers' Day and Thanksgiving. Although a post a year or two ago about mulch sparked ongoing heated debate, we would like to reiterate the best mulch for North Central Texas is fine-shredded hardwood mulch. Some experts prefer cedar, some cypress, others like recycled rubber or glass. Each serves a very different purpose, but for restoration projects (what we do versus just creating a pretty landscape), it is imperative to replicate natural functions. In our area, natural mulch is created from hardwood trees. We prefer it to all other mulches for its role in natural systems, but also because it decomposes quickly, continuously 'feeding the soil.' Good sources of hardwood mulch: Living Earth Technologies (Dallas and Plano locations) and City of Plano (also an excellent source for compost.)
- Bulb (non)fiction Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, consider planting spring-blooming bulbs. We recommend using native or naturalizing bulbs (e.g. perennials) that you do not dig up and store in a cool place, as that would go against sustainable design principles. One of our favorite early spring bloomers is Crow Poison -- a lovely white flower with an unfortunate name. Death Camas is another gorgeous native bulb with a misleading name. Good sources for native bulbs: Tejas Native Bulbs (www.tejasnativebulbs.com.) For naturalizing bulbs: The Southern Bulb Co. (www.southernbulbs.com) and Brent & Becky's Bulbs (www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com.)
- Tree, myself & Irene Cooler weather makes for the best planting environment for trees and large shrubs. Nurseries across the area will be clearing inventory in fall, so you will likely get a bargain. For native trees, we recommend visiting Shades of Green at 8801 Coit Road in Frisco; North Haven Gardens at 7700 Northaven Road in Dallas; Petal Pusher's Garden Emporium at 813 Strauss Road in Cedar Hill; or Green Mama's at 5324 Davis Boulevard in North Richland Hills.
What are your favorite fall gardening tips? Submit them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe we will post them in the comments section!