PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
Luke Geddes points to a "Flame" bush, nicknamed for the bright orange color of its leaves in the fall. These hardy bushes have green leaves all summer, then turn to dark red and finally a flaming orange. Photo by Roberta Long

Luke Geddes points to a "Flame" bush, nicknamed for the bright orange color of its leaves in the fall. These hardy bushes have green leaves all summer, then turn to dark red and finally a flaming orange. Photo by Roberta Long

FHI 2013

Enjoy tastes, beauty of your fall garden

By From page FHI6 | September 27, 2013

Summer vegetables fresh from the garden taste delicious, but biting into a newly picked winter vegetable … that’s a special treat.

“Fall is a great time to plant,” say the folks at Front Yard Nursery. Employee and American River College horticulture student Luke Geddes can tell customers everything they need to know to get from seed to taste. Luke has been gardening with his father since he was old enough to get his knees and hands dirty.

Leafy green vegetables like chard and kale, lettuce, arugula, Asian greens and broccoli planted now can be ready to add to your Thanksgiving dinner. Organic seeds, soil and compost are available for organic gardeners.

Unless it is unusually warm, fall and winter vegetables can be planted continuously through February. Cutting back the leaves will keep the plants tender and allow multiple harvests. Successive sowing every two weeks will also extend the harvest. Luke suggests trying “baby veggies” for extra tenderness.

No garden would be complete without fresh herbs that add flavor to fall and winter dishes. French tarragon, sage, rosemary and lavender can handle cold weather.

Adding color is also easy. Mums show off deep reds and oranges. Violas and pansies are colorful fall annuals.

If an extreme cold snap hits, a cover that insulates at night during frost periods and breathes during the day can protect the plants.

Customers come to Front Yard Nursery from South Lake Tahoe to the Sacramento Valley, although most of them live on the western slope of El Dorado County, Luke said. Whether their garden is a half-acre in the snow zone or a box or potted plant garden on a balcony people can enjoy the pleasure of growing their own fresh vegetables and flowers.

El Dorado County’s weather gives us one of the longest periods for roots to become established, according to Luke. From late September or early October to around Thanksgiving is the time to plant trees and shrubs.

Front Yard Nursery has an extensive inventory of bare root trees, berries, wine and table grapes, vines and shrubs. There are 20 varieties of apple trees in stock, and more than 30 available by special order. Consider a persimmon tree for a uniquely beautiful tree that provides bright orange fall fruit that hang like ornaments when the leaves have fallen

The nursery’s bare-root stock is chosen to be drought-tolerant, hardy and able to produce in the clay soil prevalent in this area.

Want to know more?
Visit Front Yard Nursery at 5801 Mother Lode Drive, Placerville, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. any day of the week. For more information call 530-626-3494 or visit frontyardnursery.com

Roberta Long

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