We are entering the sixth week of our Fall Sale, and we still have a big selection of healthy plants.
Not only are our perennials and shrubs 40% off, and our roses are 20% off, but our Trees are 50% off (except fruit trees).
Soil Products in big bags are 25% off.
Now is a great time to feed your lawn organically, and fertilize your gardens organically. Organic fertilizers are not water-soluble so they do not produce fast, soft fall growth that would freeze; they feed slowly for up to six months, building energy reserves that will help plants prepare for spring.
Mikl just attended a talk by Paul Tukey, author and national leader in the organic lawn care movement. Paul explained that the essential practices that produce great lawns without chemicals are to 1) apply a compost top-dressing :our locally-made topdressing is regularly $8.25, NOW $6.20. One bag covers 72 square feet a quarter of an inch deep. 2) apply an organic fertilizer: our locally-made lawn fertilizer 8-2-1, is regularly $17, NOW $12.75. One bag covers 3,500 square feet. And 3) apply compost tea to make nutrients more available: our Harlequin-made compost tea is regularly $5/gal, NOW $3/gal, Use one gallon per 1,000 square feet, spraying it in a hose-end sprayer or back pack sprayer.
If the lawn was not aerated in spring, it is best to aerate before applying fertilizer, compost tea and compost topdressing. This organic method does cost more in the beginning, but once the soil life and soil health are built up, costs and maintenance go down, and become more economical than chemical methods that fight Nature.
For lawns with big weed problems, you can apply Corn Gluten (which is 9% nitrogen) instead of fertilizer and which also prevents weed seeds from germinating. Denver garden advisor Kelly Grummons says good results can be obtained from using the corn gluten in February and September.
Don’t forget: to cut back on watering in October so that plants will be encouraged to go dormant. Then remember to give your plants a thorough watering once or twice a month in the winter, especially evergreen plants, roses, or anything planted in September or October. Water by hose around mid-day so the moisture will have a chance to sink in before freezing. Of course, if the ground is frozen or under a blanket of snow, you can delay watering or see if Mother Nature has taken care of it for you. And some very xeric perennials, if they are planted in soil that does not drain very rapidly, may rot if watered in winter. Feel free to ask us if you aren’t sure.
Coldframes: We built 5 coldframes to sell this year, an improved version based on our previous model, which we have been testing for 3 years. They are equipped with a solar vent opener which opens and closes automatically (without electricity) to protect the plants from both freezing and frying when you are not at home. They should be seeded in September/early October with greens that can be harvested from late February thru May. You can’t imagine how wonderfully tasty, fresh, tender and full of energy these greens are in early spring. We are sold out of these coldframes now, but you are welcome to see our model in operation at the nursery, and perhaps order one for next year. This is one of the best methods for extending the food growing season.
Bulbs: Remember those brilliant orange ‘waterlily’ tulips in our xeriscape rock garden? The glowing golden cups of species crocus, the dainty nodding miniature daffodils, intense blue droplets of Siberian squill and the smoldering deep red chalices of heirloom tulips? Every year in April and May, many of you have exclaimed over the beautiful tulips, ‘snow iris’, wild crocus, dwarf narcissus, etcetera, lighting up our xeriscape display gardens, and asked if we sell the bulbs. At long last, this year we do! Our full selection of bulbs is now here, and we hope you will come in to get these choice gems while they last. The full list of our bulb offerings is on our website at https://www.harlequinsgardens.com/plants/bulbs. The list includes excellent descriptions and photographs. We also carry Colorado-made Age Old Organics bulb fertilizers and sturdy made-in-Iowa bulb-planting trowels.
The fall-blooming Saffron Crocus should be planted right away (they should bloom this October or November), and you can begin forcing Paper White Narcissus now for fragrant blooms in four to six weeks. Spring-blooming bulbs should be planted from mid-October to December (a little earlier for higher elevations).
Our fall vegetable starts, broccoli, cauliflower, chard, lettuce, arugula, spinach, cilantro and kale, are beautiful and healthy, and should be planted in your garden NOW – and they are on sale for 20% off. Growing vegetables for fall and winter harvests without a greenhouse is a new concept for most Colorado gardeners. It may sound daunting, but it’s really easy. Some of us have been enjoying fresh, home-grown greens in the colder months for some time now. Eve has grown Swiss chard, lettuce, kale spinach and arugula for almost year-round harvest, and the incredibly sweet carrots, sown in late July, have graced our soups and salads through the winter. Our friend Roland, a mountain gardener, has grown the delicious and extremely cold-hardy Purple Sprouting Broccoli (one of the varieties we have ready now) for many years – planted in fall and over-wintered, it begins yielding in spring and continues for many months. He grows about 50 different vegetables in his fall and winter gardens (okay, some are grown in his greenhouse). We can help you protect your fall and winter crops with row cover fabric, too.
Remember: In October we are open only Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9-5.
Our best wishes to you for a colorful and healthy fall!
Mikl & Eve Brawner and the staff at Harlequin’s Gardens