Gardentalk – Planting for a colorful fall

By September 22, 2019 Gardentalk, Outdoors
Leaves begin to turn on a Norway maple outside KTOO studios in September 2019. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

Leaves begin to turn on a Norway maple outside KTOO studios in September 2019. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

Do you enjoy the trees and shrubs that are changing color around Juneau right now?

Master Gardener Ed Buyarski says you can plant in your own yard now or plan for next year instead.

“So, we can add more to basically get more enjoyment out of our fall landscape,” Buyarski said.

Screen capture of Picture This app tries to identify leaf of a tree near KTOO studios.

Screen capture of Picture This app tries to identify leaf of a tree near KTOO studios.

Popular trees, which show autumn colors and grow well in the Juneau area, include the maple, birch, cottonwood, dolgo crabapple, cherry, and golden willow. The Japanese katsura will change from pink to salmon to orange colors.

Color-changing shrubs include the wild blueberry, devil’s club, red twig dogwood, gold flame, and the burning bush.

“If you go past Fred Meyer’s, there’s some beautiful burning bush plants turned from green to bright red-orange,” Buyarski said.

For flowers and perennials, Buyarski recommends monkshood, ligularias, turtlehead, and black-eyed Susan. The Miskin lilac and the P.J.M. rhododendron will eventually turn purple in the early fall.

Buyarski says it’s a great time of year for planting, because the early fall rains are finally moistening the soil. He recommends loosening the roots once you get the plant or tree out of the pot.

“Water them once thoroughly, throw some compost on the surface or some seaweed, and a couple inches of mulch over the top,” Buyarski said. “The roots will continue to grow well into the fall as long as the ground isn’t frozen.”

“The mulch is really important, because of the potential for freeze-thaw action during the winter if we don’t get consistent snow cover,” Buyarski said.

Listen to the Sept. 19th edition about fall colors:

 

If you’re reluctant to do any planting now, then Buyarski encourages taking pictures of trees and shrubs as part of next year’s planning. There are several plant identification apps that are available for your phone that will help figure out the type of plant or tree that is changing color.

Do you have a garden question for Ed? Fill out the form below, and he’ll answer your question in an upcoming segment.

Listen to past episodes and subscribe to the podcast on the “Gardentalk” page, so you’ll never have to worry about missing Thursday’s live radio broadcasts.

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