Plant your heart out

Chelsea Powrie

Summer is winding down, but if you're a gardener, that's a good thing.

According to nursery manger of GardenWorks Scott Austin, fall is an ideal time for planting. 

"Fall is actually, in my mind, and I think a lot of people, the best time in the Okanagan, for a whole host of reasons. And one of those reasons is it's a great time to plant," Austin said. 

The ground has been warmed by the sun all summer, so there is plenty of residual heat in the soil. Perennials, trees and shrubs planted now will keep growing roots well into November.

"And then next spring, they're in a much better position to start active top growth than something that you would plant in March or April," Austin said. 

This is also a good time to plant bulbs for tulips and daffodils and hyacinths, which will bloom come spring. 

"Same for garlic. If you're a garlic fan, and who isn't, it's a great time of year to plant garlic bulbs so you've got a great harvest next year," Austin said.

He also pointed out some plants that flower in the fall, so your garden will keep looking fresh and bountiful.

"The fall-blooming sedums are one of my favourites because they bloom right until hard frost, they look fabulous this time of the year. The bees, because there isn't a lot of pollen this time of the year, the bees love them," he said. 

Ornamental grasses are another great fall option. 

"They really reach their peak at this time of year," Austin said. "They look great in the winter and then you cut them down in the spring and they grow back again and give you beauty next year."

Cool weather is expected to continue, but there's no deep freeze in the forecast yet. 

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