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'Tis season to plant fruit trees, plants

Extension advice

POSTED: November 7, 2017 1:00 p.m.
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Ashley Hoppers is UGA's Extension agent in Liberty County.

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While this is a good time of year to start enhancing your landscape with some new trees, shrubs and ornamentals, let’s not forget about our edible options. Now is also a good time to plant fruit trees, as well as small fruit plants, like muscadines, blueberries and blackberries.

Ever wanted to grow your own strawberries? If you want to give them a shot, you can also plant those this month. Two tried-and-true varieties are Camarosa and Sweet Charlie, but there are others, too.

Sweet Charlie is a short day variety that produces large, extremely sweet berries with some anthracnose resistance. It also performs well in heat and humidity, which is a huge plus for gardeners in southeast Georgia.

Camarosa is also a short day variety that produces large, firm fruit throughout its fruiting cycle. The interior of the fruit is brilliant red. For spring harvest, plant your strawberries in the fall.

For all of the citrus growers out there, your citrus trees can be sprayed with ultra-fine oil mixed with Neem oil. This helps to control greasy spot and mites.

It’s also not too late to continue planting the fall vegetable garden. There is a great selection of lettuce plants, kale, Swiss chard and many other vegetables that can be fall planted. It is not too late to sow seed either. Lettuces can be direct-seeded into the garden, but try to sow seed for lettuce about every 10 days to lengthen your harvest.

Lastly, fall wildflower seed is another fun option for the home garden. You can order lots of neat varieties online, just remember to buy types that are indigenous to our planting zone. Depending on what type of wildflowers you purchase, you can sow your seeds between October and January.

Mix four parts sand to one part seed to help disperse the seeds evenly across your garden bed. Prepare your bed by tilling lightly, then scatter the sand and seed mixture on the prepared area and water. Many of these seeds need the cold weather to germinate.

Pansies should be arriving into nurseries soon. Plant pansies in full sun to very light shade in well-drained soil. You can also mulch your plants, which will help keep the roots cool for longer spring bloom and to control evaporation. Blood meal is a good organic fertilizer for pansies or a water soluble fertilizer is also excellent for pansy plantings.

My personal favorites are the violas. They bloom their hearts out. Fall-plant snapdragons for lots and lots of blooms in spring. When planting snaps, break off the flower bud and plant. This causes the plant to produce many side shoots for a fuller plant and many more flowers in spring.

That’s all for now. Happy fall gardening!

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