Cooler Weather Projects and Problems In The Northern Garden

This month and next some important planting and gardening can be done here in the North, although not enough gardeners realize it. Garden plants are in good condition. Perennials, for example, are maturing after a long season of growth.

Planting them now can be done with a minimum transplanting shock and practically no setback. All early spring and early summer flowering perennials can be planted now to great advantage over spring planting because they will not be interrupted in their growth nor will their flowering be disturbed next year.

cool weather project northPin

Garden chrysanthemums and other late summer and fall flowering perennials, on the other hand, are best planted or transplanted in spring because those planted in fall are more subject to winter injury due to the lateness of their maturity.


From now on until freeze-up the garden chrysanthemum is the king of the flowers. Nov is the time to become acquainted with varieties and find those you want for next spring’s planting. Many people make the mistake of planting mums in the fall.

The garden chrysanthemum is not reliably hardy in the North, so it should not be purchased and planted until spring. Because frosts come early here, select only the early flowering varieties. A paper on chrysanthemum culture and varieties for the North may be obtained from the Department of Horticulture, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 1, Minn.

When nights get cool enough to require heat in the house (and before frosts occur) house plants that are outdoors should be brought inside. They should be kept outdoors as long as they are safe from injurious temperatures because they will spend many months in the house under less favorable growing conditions. Exposure to chilling but safe temperatures will check their growth and harden them for the long winter indoors.

Bulbs and Roses

Bulbs of hyacinths, crocus, and hardy narcissus should be planted as soon as they are on the market in September. Unlike tulips, they need a long time to get rooted before winter comes. Late plantings probably account for most of the losses that occur to these plants here.

These bulbs need fertile, sandy soil for the best development, deep enough to give the roots room. Of equal importance is soil moisture. A good root system will develop only if the soil is kept moist until freeze-up.

During fall nights, dew lies heavy on the foliage of plants making them susceptible to mildew. Lilacs, honeysuckle, phlox, zinnias, and roses are often afflicted at this time of year.

Except for roses, there is little that can or needs to be done about it now; spraying earlier might have helped keep it in check. The foliage of roses, however, must be kept free of mildew by continuing the weekly spraying or dusting with a rose fungicide. It may take semi-weekly applications to keep foliage free of mildew now. 

44659 by Robert A. Phillips