Home & Garden

Plant Now for a Beautiful Garden Now and in the Future

cc84cbfd7fb2cb307fc5_Daffodils.jpeg
Plant daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs in the fall for extra color next spring. Credits: Melinda Myers, LLC
cc84cbfd7fb2cb307fc5_Daffodils.jpeg

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Don't pack away that shovel and trowel. Fall is a great time to plant a few new additions in the landscape. Here are just a few ideas for adding immediate and long term beauty to your garden.

Add cool season annuals like pansies, snapdragons, ornamental kale and stocks to brighten the fall garden. Those in milder regions will enjoy them throughout the winter.  Consider adding cold hardy pansies. They provide color in the fall garden, survive most winters, and are back blooming in the spring just as the snow melts.

Fall is also a good time to plant perennials, trees and shrubs. The soil is warm and the air cooler, so the plants are less stressed and establish more quickly. Select plants suited to the growing conditions and be sure to give them plenty of room to reach their mature size.

Sign Up for E-News

Plant trees so the root flare, the place where the roots curve away from the trunk, is even with the soil surface.  Dig a hole, the same depth as the rootball, and two to five times wider.  Roughen the sides of the hole and backfill with the existing soil.  Water thoroughly and spread a two to three inch layer of mulch over the soil surface, keeping the mulch away from the tree trunk.

Follow a similar planting procedure for shrubs.  Plant these so the crown, the place where the stems meet the roots, is even with the soil surface. And be sure to keep the mulch away from the stems.

Plant daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and other bulbs in fall for extra color next spring.  Set the bulbs at a depth of two to three times their height deep.   Then cover them with soil and sprinkle on a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer, like Milorganite (milorganite.com).  This organic nitrogen fertilizer promotes rooting without stimulating fall growth subject to winter kill. 

Start planting spring flowering bulbs after the nighttime temperatures hover between 40 and 50 degrees.  Be patient – waiting until the soil cools reduces the risk of early sprouting that often occurs during a warm fall. 

Those gardening in the far south and along the gulf coast can purchase pre-cooled bulbs to compensate for the warm winters.  Or the chilling can be done at home by storing the bulbs in a 35 to 45 degree location for at least 14 weeks before planting.

Those tired of battling the animals may want to plant resistant bulbs such as daffodils, hyacinths, Fritillaria, alliums, Camassia, glory-of-the snow, snow drops, squills, and grape hyacinths.  You may find it is easier to avoid the problem than battle the animals with repellents and scare tactics.

Plant a few short season vegetables in your garden for fresh-from-the garden flavor this fall.  Simply count the days from planting to the average first fall frost to determine how many growing days are left in your area.  Select vegetables that will mature and can be harvested in that amount of time.  Leaf lettuce, spinach, mustard greens, radishes and carrots are fast growing, cool weather tolerant vegetables that make great additions to the fall garden and your dinner plate. 

Get these vegetables off to a good start with a side dressing of low nitrogen fertilizer.  Incorporate it into the soil prior to planting or sprinkle a narrow band along the row of plants.  This organic nitrogen will provide needed nutrients without damaging the tender seedlings.

Extend the harvest season with the help of floating row covers. These fabrics allow air, light and water through while trapping the heat around the plants. No construction is needed; just loosely cover the plants with the fabric, secure the edges with pipes, boards or landscape staples and let the plants provide the support.

So be sure to get a jump on next spring’s garden season with a bit of fall planting now.

Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening For Everyone” DVD series and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments. Myers is also a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers’ web site, www.melindamyers.com, offers gardening videos and tips. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week Joe Sacco Wrestling

The South Plainfield Wrestling Team finished their dual meet season with a deceiving 20-7 record.  This past week saw the Tigers defeat Ewing (69-4), Bordentown Regional (49-9), and Ocean Township (54-6) to win the Central Jersey Group III Sectional Championship.  This advanced South Plainfield to the Group III State Championships yet again.  The wrestling team defeated Voorhees ...

The Athlete of the Week: Alyzah Ziga Co-ed Swimming

This past week South Plainfield’s Co-ed Swim Team finished their season.  The team was competitive in most meets, many times competing against bigger schools.  Junior Alyzah Ziga was an integral part of the Tiger’s Swim Team.

On Friday 2/2, Alyzah scored a total of 8 points against Linden with a 1st place in the 200 Individual Medley with a time of 2:29.55 and in 1st ...

Obituaries

South Plainfield - Mary E. Ridilla, 96,  passed away on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at the ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Middle School Student Council - Thank You!

February 16, 2018

The South Plainfield Middle School Student Council would like to express our thanks for the support of local businesses and organizations in our fundraising efforts.  A spaghetti dinner was hosted by the South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 on January 13th.  Mrs. Sharon Reuter and members of her Youth Committee and kitchen crew provided dinner for family, friends and staff of South ...

South Plainfield Residents  Named to Fall 2017 Dean's List at Seton Hall University

February 13, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- Seton Hall University is pleased to announce the following students who qualified for Fall 2017 Dean's list and to congratulate them for their outstanding academic achievements:

Brooke Barry, Lindsay Celentano, Cj Dudek, Kaitlyn Faustini, Christopher McNeil,  Meagan Praul,  

Kyle Russell, Matthew Taco Bravo and Tomasz ...

Community Happenings

Pre-Ticket Sale for Holy Savior Academy’s 4th Annual Spring Splendor Tricky Tray

February 7, 2018

Holy Savior Academy is hosting its Spring Splendor Tricky Tray Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the school.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are limited and will be sold at Holy Savior Academy, 149 South Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield on Friday, February 9, 2016 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (cash or checks)

BYOB and food- Admission $ 25 per person includes:  ...

Volleyball Fundraiser for the Eggert Family on March 11, 2018

February 18, 2018

WHAT:

Two divisions, Co-Ed High School and Co-Ed adult

Guaranteed two games per team

Double Elimination

8 people per team

 

COST:

High School teams = $50 per team

Adult Teams = $100 per team

12 Teams Max for each division

Please mail checks to 1107 Worth Drive, South Plainfield NJ 07080

High school - please submit your teams and payment to Justin ...

Holy Savior Academy hosts appreciation luncheon for Deanery Pastors

February 16, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The students and Board of Limited Jurisdiction of Holy Savior Academy (HSA), South Plainfield hosted a special luncheon to honor and celebrate the Pastors of twelve local Catholic churches that sponsor the school.  

The event was held at HSA on Tuesday February 13 and included a festive lunch featuring a home-cooked meal prepared by members of ...

Holy Savior Academy Cheer Competition

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Holy Savior Academy’s cheerleading squad is on winning streak.  Competing at the Biddy Level in the CCCANJ League, the girls took 1st place in the first two competitions of this cheer season. The 12 girl squad competed in the Immaculate Conception and the St. Mary’s competitions and came out on top beating fellow Catholic Schools, Immaculate ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_4b13d74a66d28696835d_sp_cultural_arts

Tue, February 20, 7:30 PM

South Plainfield

SPCAC Meeting

Carousel_image_2016772e51de2589b65e_lenten_dinners

Fri, February 23, 5:00 PM

South Plainfield

The Sacred Heart Lenten Fish Dinners

Carousel_image_160974dbc9379a0238f6_meet_the_mayor

Sat, February 24, 8:00 AM

South Plainfield

Meet the Mayor at the Senior Center

Carousel_image_01278d9d6764037b0a59_children_s_march_flyer-page-001

Sat, February 24, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

The Children’s March being shown at the South ...

Carousel_image_4d7f13f1bac1e8a84adb_races_flyer_4-page-001

Sat, February 24, 7:00 PM

South Plainfield

Night at the Races - Tricky Tray

Carousel_image_5a8b641c938a30a61d34_img_2324

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Open House 171 New York Avenue South Plainfield

Real Estate

Columns

Diegnan Bill Allowing Municipalities To Authorize Parking Authorities As Redevelopment Entity Now Law

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Diegnan to allow municipalities to authorize a parking authority as a redevelopment entity is now law.

“We know that smart redevelopment can help to revitalize areas within a town or city, but we have to make sure that municipalities have the flexibility to undertake projects in the most effective way,” said ...

South Plainfield: A Heart for Giving

South Plainfield received over two inches of rain this past weekend. Fortunately, Mother Nature has cooperated, and the precipitation was not of the frozen variety. Despite the rain, nothing could put a damper on South Plainfield’s spirit of helping those in need.

On Saturday a few Borough employees and I had the opportunity to deliver funds that have been raised for a family that has ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Bookmarks

Tax forms are here!  The IRS has sent us printed copies of some of the most commonly used forms and instruction books.  We will continue putting them out as long as our supply lasts.  If you need other forms, we have them available for copying or you can print them out from IRS.gov.  Look on our website for more tax-related links.

The library will be closed on Sunday, ...

Knights Of Columbus Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest

All young people ages 8 through 14 are invited to participate in the 2018 Knights of Columbus Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest sponsored by the South Plainfield Knights of Columbus Council #6203.  Students that attend any schools in South Plainfield are welcomed to participate.  Students are encouraged to develop an original poster and slogan idea designed to discourage their ...

Press Releases

New Brunswick/Middlesex County Reentry Site Opens

February 14, 2018

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ - The New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC), a nonprofit agency serving court-involved individuals, is pleased to announce the grand opening a new reentry site in Middlesex County on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 at 11 a.m. The office is located at 57 Livingston Avenue, Unit 3, New Brunswick, N.J. 08901. Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin will offer remarks and cut ...