October 2006
Home Grown Tomatoes

Fall is the Best Time to Plant Shrubs and Trees

Now that autumn is finally here (and I say finally because most of us had an extremely dry summer) you can get busy planting trees and shrubs.

Some nurseries wouldn’t even sell you a Japanese maple two months ago because they knew that its chance of survival in your yard would be slim during the water shortages most of us were experiencing during July. I hope all of you who were led in the proper direction then will now go back and buy those shrubs and trees.

If you go to your local Quality Co-op right now you’ll probably find some of the Encore® azaleas still in bloom. Encore® azaleas are re-bloomers that will have showy color at least three times a year. It’s nice to enjoy the beauty of azaleas more than just in the spring.

Encores® bloom in the spring, summer and in the fall and their care and maintenance is the same as a traditional azalea.

When planting your shrubbery and trees remember to dig your hole about twice as wide as the root ball and about 2/3 deeper than the root ball. Always add organic compost or better yet, MaterDirt® (available at your Co-op) to back fill your hole

The root ball should be above the ground level by at least one inch. Do not cover the root ball with soil as this will channel water away from the root ball, preventing your plant from getting proper hydration during its establishment period.

How long does it take a tree to get established? As a rule of thumb, it takes about one year per inch of trunk size for a tree to become well established. If you plant a tree with a three-inch trunk, you should expect to help Mother Nature along with extra water and occasional fertilizer for about three years.

Finally, Home Grown Tomatoes is looking to expand our coverage area. If your community’s radio station is currently not carrying Home Grown Tomatoes Radio, give them a call and ask them to. We are now ready to cover the whole state and region with the most accurate garden talk around.

Drop me a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and tell me how your garden is looking, what’s growing, what’s unusual and how many tomato plants are still producing. I’d like to know.

Kenn Alan presents the radio show "Home Grown Tomatoes" every Saturday morning from 6 till 8 on 101.1 FM, The Source, and offers gardening tips at HGTradio.net, where Home Grown Tomatoes can now be heard live on the Internet by following instructions on the home page!