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USDA Plant Hardiness Zones

To help gardeners understand which plants will grow well for them, the entire USA has been segmented into ‘Plant Hardiness Zones’. Knowing your zone number is helpful when shopping for plants because:

  • Cold-area gardeners can avoid buying plants that simply won’t survive their lowest winter temperatures.
  • Warm-area gardeners can steer clear of plants that need a period of cold weather in order to bloom again.
Find your Plant Hardiness Zone here.

Reflecting on Fall: How Did Your Garden Grow?

With December in full swing, now is the perfect time to get your last-minute Daffodils, Tulips, Allium, and Hyacinths in the ground for spring growth. After you have finished all of your fall planting, it is always a great idea to reflect on your garden from the past season and evaluate how everything did.

I like to take “inventory” of everything I planted in the spring and summer and keep a garden journal with their progress. It is important to note what did well and what may not have met your expectations. For those plants that grew, bloomed, and wowed – make note to plant more next spring. For the plants that did not do as well, you can evaluate whether you think they should be moved to a different spot in the garden, or if they are just not the right fit. This can all be recorded in your garden journal; come spring, you will be thanking yourself for all of the information that you will most likely have forgotten.

Moving plants in fall.

"Fall is a Great Time to Transplant."

Fall is the perfect time to move plants that did not perform, or plants you simply want to try in a new spot, once their green growth has turned brown and started to die down. I recommend using a serrated shovel to cut through the roots, without harming the actual plant. You will want to get as much of the root system as possible out of the ground and then once re-planted, lightly water to remove air pockets and set the plant in its new home.

Another great thing to do in the fall is to draw diagrams of your garden. Once everything dies back, it is difficult to remember exactly what is planted where. If you draw a garden “map,” you will remember exactly where your Astilbe lives and just how many Perennial Tulips you planted. This is also a great tool for planning your spring garden; you will know where there are open areas to plant!

One of the many joys of gardening is learning what does and doesn’t work in your own garden. Reflecting on the past growing season, and taking notes for the next, is an important and fun process in creating your dream garden. As your start this reflection process, please feel free to share your stories and pictures on our Facebook Wall. We love seeing how your gardens grew!

Happy Gardening!

[caption id="attachment_3592" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Diagram Your Garden for Next Spring"]Garden Diagram
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