Written by Doug Oster on .


The real trick to having a green thumb is good soil and knowing when to plant what. I spent the weekend subbing out many of my containers with cool loving crops. Even though it looks like Indian Summer will last for another week or two, I wanted to get some of my winter plantings in place to they had time to establish themselves before the cool weather hit.

I really had to hunt for the yellow pansies, I waited too long and many nurseries had sold out or were only selling them in bowls, I want my plants in flats. These are Icicle pansies and it's been a few years since I've grown them, I was glad to stumble onto them at Best Feeds in the North Hills. Here's a link to find them near you. They are only available in the fall and are bread to last the winter, I plant them in containers and just keep them watered before the soil freezes solid and they come back, going dormant in the winter. The cool think about Icicle pansies, is they are guaranteed to re-bloom in the spring as long as you follow the instructions on the planting label.

I had an epiphany as I planted the tall purple flowering kale in the spot my fig tree used to sit. The fig tree is safely wintering in the greenhouse and hopefully will put on figs next summer (crossing fingers). I fell in love with this tall kale and bought the last three plants at the nursery. They will last well into winter and I can't tell you how good it feels to look out onto the patio and see color in November and December. Anyway, back to the epiphany. While spending the day working in the garden I looked at that tall kale and just knew yellow pansies would be the perfect compliment for the plant.

Late in the afternoon, the plants were bathed in warm low light that tells us fall is here and winter is around the corner. Between chores I watched as the sun slowly moved through the trees lighting my latest creation a little differently as the day ended. I knew I had made the right choice.

I'll be working in the garden all week getting ready for the end of the season and will be posting here as I do, please join me and let me know what you're doing in the garden by using the comments section of the blog.

See you tomorrow,




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