Planting For Fall

There are quite a number of choices in the Fall when you want to add color to your landscape.  All of the following will breeze right thru the coldest of  winters in our area including ice storms, snow etc.:  pansies, violas, snapdragons, stock, dianthus, petunias, alyssum, calendula, dusty miller, cyclamin, primrose, and ornamental cabbage and kale.  Pansies and violas are the most widely known and used.  The color spectrum in these two choices are out of this world.  Also, these above choices do not grow as large as the spring and summer bedding plants do so you typically need more to fill the same area.  The exceptions to that would be the ornamental cabbage and kale which can get as big around as a large plate, so those items can be used to fill space.  Also, all of the choices have to have as close to full sun (6 or more hours of sun) in order to bloom well during the cold season with the exception of primrose and cabbage and kale.  All of the choices will last until it gets hot again May/June.  Dianthus is a perennial in the carnation family that stays green year round and will bloom the majority of the year with some rests.  As far as trees, shrubs, goundcovers etc., the old nurseryman's saying is'Fall is for Planting'.  Many reasons for this.  Of course the weather, less stress on you and the plant, typically more rainfall during fall, winter, spring, than summer months, so less maintainence.  Although, outdoor plants go dorment (rest) during these months they never stop completely growing root system wise, so by planting during the cold season these plants have several more months to become established before heat and drought hit the south again than just planting in spring and summer.  Fruit and Citrus growers release their crops to the retailers in the Fall, so that is when we have the best selection.  La. Nursery only sells what LSU recommends to grow and produce consistantly in our area.  The 'chill hours' each kind of fruit requires to bloom and produce a crop is what determines whether or not any variety makes the LSU list, that also includes pecans.  Alot of room is not needed anymore to enjoy fresh fruit in a person's yard, and two of one kind of fruit is generally not needed to pollinate and produce anymore, although it will usually bring a higher yield.  With the price of eating healthy going thru the roof, it's not only fun but economical to go pick your own apples for that apple pie, squeeze your own orange juice, make your own fig preserves like your mother used to do.  The choices are enormous because of the area we live in.  Just need to know where to go to get the best information, selection and advice, and of course that would be LOUISIANA  NURSERY. Chrysanthemums are very popular for fall color.  They can bloom up to 6 to 8 weeks.  At frost they will die down and go dormant then pop up in spring and re-bloom again.  They are considered a hardy perennial.  they come in a multitude of colors shapes sizes (referring to the blooms).  One other thing to be considered are ornamental peppers.  The leaves range from green to bronze to almost black and the peppers themselves turn different colors - yellow, orange, red, purple all on the same plant.  Makes for a nice fall addition, yet they have to be protected from cold and frost.  Use for table arrangement maybe.  Save the pepper seeds and plant it back out in spring and start all over again.