Well folks, as bad as I hate to say it, we've come to the end of another gardening season in North Idaho. As of this writing, we haven't seen our first frost but we all know that it's lurking just around the corner. We observed our Autumn Equinox on Friday, Sept. 22. That's kind of “the beginning of the end.”
Can you believe it's September already? The signs are everywhere. You drive down the street and there they are. Trees and shrubs beginning to sport their autumn colors of red, yellow, orange and rust. They are pretty, no doubt about it, but wouldn't they be just as pretty if they'd waited a while?
It's hard to call now the "dog days of summer" as we've had these hot spells so many times since early June. You're to be congratulated if you've managed to keep your growing things green this summer. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back! Also, give thanks that we still have plenty of water.
With the calendar saying mid to late July, it's time to feed those blooming plants again. Not the perennials, just the annuals. To continue their flower production up until frost hits, choose a product with a high middle number. Dig some in around the base, water and stand back to enjoy continued blooms. Keep disbudding these annuals and they will keep producing flowers for you.
The official “first day of summer” was a few days ago. That (should) mean lots of nice warm days for many weeks to come. I don't know about you but I got enough cold this past winter to last for a long time.
With the weather so warm in May, most of us have got the majority of our planting done already. Even the most sensitive plants seem to be doing OK. I hold off on things like coleus until the nights stay in the high 50s. It's best to wait even longer before moving any houseplants outside for the summer.
Our weather lately has been like riding a roller coaster as it jumps from high 80s way down to the 40s, hot sun to chilly rain. If you feel confident that you know what's coming, you're ahead of most of us.
Believe it or not, it's that time of the year again. Time to dig out those gardening catalogs and wish lists. If you like to start things from seed, some things need to get going early. Some plants even want to get going in January! That's fine if you have the room for them, not to mention, the ambition.