Hello, again!

Acorns falling from the canopy of oak trees overhead, sweetgum seed balls starting to fall and pumpkin spice lattes on the menu at coffee shops are all signs of the changing season. Highs in the mid 80’s and lows approaching the 50’s are especially welcome now. Fall gardening time is here. The stores are stocked with our homegrown garden mums and spring flowering Dutch bulbs. Hardy annual pansies and violas are eagerly awaiting a new home in the ground.

Another sign of the season changing is the new sounds and smells of the cool outdoors. I like the sight and sound of New Mexico Pinon wood burning in my chiminea on cool evenings, while I sit back and have a glass of wine. Fall is when many perennial plants have the chance to recover, and also when we see many plants germinate with the cool, moist temperatures of fall. Perennial plants and hardy annuals have bloomed this summer producing seeds for the next generation of plants to start the cycle all over again. I’ve even seen henbit germinating in bare spots in the garden.

The perfect conditions of fall make it the ideal time for germination of our cool season turf grasses. With the warm soil temperatures and great soil moisture from recent rains, turf type fescue will germinate in a few short days. We’ve discussed our favorite fescue blend for our region, Gard’n-Wise Premium Fescue Blend which has top ranking var ieties of seed according to tests from K-State. Disease resistance, greener color, and fuller coverage are all benefits of the blend. Even overseeding an existing lawn with newer var ieties will give your lawn a noticeable benefit.

Fertilizer in the fall is also so important. Apply ferti-lome New Lawn Starter at seed planting time followed by ferti-lome Winterizer two more times, a month apart to get your lawn established quickly. You’ll notice the difference next spring!!

For decades, we have grown our own fall garden mums. We've gone from helping customers select their own mums in our mum field in the 70’s to now producing most of our mums in containers and bushel baskets. Fall mums are a big part of our fall season. I recently visited with my friend Bill Jackel about moving our irrigation pipes and helping longtime garden center customers. It brought back great memories of good times at the garden center.

Whatever your fall gardening needs are, stop in and visit us. Like always, we'll have the aromas of Aspen mulling spices and popcorn filling the stores as the weather cools down.

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center