Even though the mercury may be sky high on the thermometer right now, it’s the right time to consider starting flowers for fall blooms and to provide pretty bulb covers in the spring.
Pansies and Violas add a fabulous pop of color to fall borders or containers. July to August is the best time to start them. (It takes around 2 ½ to 3 months from the time you plant pansy or viola seed to get the first blooms.) Consider how ‘Bewitching’ the black and orange ‘Bewitched Blend’ Pansies would look in October if you start them now!
Burgundy Amaranth will give your garden bright jewel-toned burgundy leaves even if you don’t have time left in the season to achieve their full height or plumes. The leaves are also edible and make a colorful addition to salads when picked young.
Coleus Rainbow Blend will add an explosion of bright color to those shady spots that may be looking a little barren or bedraggled by late summer and early fall. It can take the heat as long as it’s kept moist and has some shade. Foliage will last until the first fall frost. When frost looms near, you can take cuttings of your favorite colors to root in a vase of water for some indoor color that lasts for a couple of months.
Perennials – If you start perennial flowers now, they will have time to put down roots and survive the winter, giving you lush blooms next spring and summer. Most perennials need to be planted 8-10 weeks before the average first fall frost date.
If you are planning to plant bulbs this fall (like tulips, hyacinth, crocus), consider sowing some Pansies, Violas, Candytuft Snowflake, or Alyssum Basket of Gold within the next few weeks to make a pretty bulb cover next spring to complement the blooming bulbs and to mask the foliage as the bulb blooms fade.