Fall Garden Care

Every month we post our This Month In Your Garden (find it under the Resources tab!) to ensure you have a checklist of just want to plant and what plants need a little extra love. As we near winter, it is important to keep an eye out for anything that needs last minute attention before the weather grows colder, the days darker and we take shelter in our cozy abodes. Here are a few of our must-have garden tips we practice in our own yards, and a few things you shouldn't miss on your next visit...

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Feed lawns with Master Nursery's Fall & Winter Feed 20-6-7. Apply monthly to keep your lawns at their best. Why apply this over regular lawn food? The nitrogen in the Fall & Winter Feed is formulated to work even faster in the colder months of the year. 



Feed spring-flowering plants and fruit trees monthly with Master Bloom 0-10-10 or E.B. Stone Organics Ultra Bloom 0-10-10. These fertilizers are formulated with without nitrogen to boost flowering and fruiting.

We especially recommend feeding your azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons for spectacular blooms. A 0-10-10 will also improve your yield, quality and sweetness of your citrus and other fruit trees! 


We love their luscious fruit, but peach and nectarine trees are all susceptible to leaf curl, a fungal disease that causes curly, distorted leaves and reduced fruit production. Now is the time to start spraying your trees for prevention of leaf curl. Spray with Copper Fungicide at the rate of 2 ounces per gallon of water. Make your first application at 80% leaf drop, (which is generally around Thanksgiving.)

Make additional applications at bud swell (late winter), popcorn (buds just showing color), full bloom and petal fall. Remember to reapply if it rains within 24 hours of application! 




As we approach our first frost (could be any day now!), stock up on our recommended tools to protect your frost tender plants! Apply Bonide's Wilt Stop to prevent drying out, winter kill, wind burn, transplant shock and more. 

We also recommend covering your plants with our Frost Protection Blankets. Available in a range of sizes and by the foot, we use frost blankets in the nursery ourselves to protect our plants through winter (especially our succulents and citrus) and highly suggest it for your garden. Find Wilt Stop and Frost Protection Blankets near our outside shop. 

Looking for something frost hardy for quick greenery and a burst of color? Check out our Bedding Department's stock of Ornamental Kale and Cabbage. With varied foliage and available in a range of colors, these ornamentals are one of our favorite winter plants! Questions? Stop into the nursery and let us help you get your garden winter ready! 



It's not all about preventative care this month; just in at the nursery are our onion sets! Sold in bunches of 25, we also have 6-packs available. With red, white and yellow onions available, we're sure you'll find a variety to your liking. Plant now in full sun with fertile, well-drained soil (we recommend mulching!) Hurry in, they’ll go fast!



The deadline to receive 20% off your prepaid order of roses and fruit trees is approaching - December 1st to be exact! All stock will be arriving bareroot in January.

Our Rose List features our must-haves and several new beauties and be sure to check out our Bareroot Fruit List for your favorite farmer's market varieties. December will be here before we know it, give us a call or stop in to place your order this week! 

For more of our tips for your fall garden, be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter!

Fall Planting: Lettuce & Chard


One aspect of lettuce that sets it apart from any other vegetable is that you can only have it one form, and that's fresh. There are hundreds of different varieties of lettuce and today, an increasing availability so that our salad bowls can contain a wealth of color and texture. Lettuce is rich in calcium, potassium, iron and vitamins A, E and C, along with traces of other elements. Keep in mind, the darker the leaves, the more nutritional value!  

Lettuce likes moist, fertile, well-drained soil and a sunny location. Plants grow quickly, make sure you supply ample watering and nutrients! We recommend fertilizing with either Master Nursery's Tomato & Vegetable Food 5-10-10 or E.B. Stone Organics Tomato & Vegetable Food 4-5-3 to ensure your best harvest. 

Another reason we love lettuce? They make a great alternative for annuals in pots! 

Here are the types of lettuce you'll find this season at the nursery: 


These are the classic lettuces seen in kitchen gardens. They have a pale heart and floppy, loosely packed leaves with great flavor as long as they are fresh. 


Crisp lettuces, such as Iceberg, have an excellent crunchy texture and will keep their vitality long after Butterheads have faded and died.


These are non-hearting lettuce with lose leaves and include 'Lollo Rosso', 'Oak Leaf' and 'Red Salad Bowl' lettuces. This group of lettuce can really make a salad look colorful!


Also known as "Cos", it is very upright and columnar, forming a creamy white, crisp heart, surrounded by sturdy outer leaves. Considered the most delicious lettuce, this has a firm texture and a faintly nutty taste. It is the lettuce for an authentic Caesar Salad. 


In appearance, Bibbs look like something between a baby Romaine and a tightly furled Butterhead. They have firm hearts and are enjoyed for their distinct flavor. Like other lettuce hearts, they cope well with being cooked.


This popular winter leaf does not actually belong to the lettuce family, but as it makes a lovely addition to salads. Called mâche in France, it has spoon shaped leaves and excellent nutty flavor.


Chard can take summer heat and not bolt as well as handle the cold just fine. With regular watering, chard will tolerate most garden soil. Leaves are picked as the plant grows, so one planting can be harvested over many months. Typically we count 30 days for baby leaves and 55 days for full size. Chard is highly ornamental, mix it in the flower garden for color and form! 

Did you know that chard is actually a kind of beet that grows edible leaves instead of roots? Cooking with it is easy; sauté, steam or braise with olive oil, garlic, pepper and salt. (Add anchovies for a nice kick!) Great to put in salads, soups, pasta dishes or omelets, we love to substitute it for spinach! Once cooked, it is also nice to layer into lasagna. 

Don't miss the 'Bright Lights' variety! It's vibrant, multi-colored stems and green to bronze leaves are lovely to look at and delicious to eat! 

Our 'Peppermint' variety (as seen above to the right) is a unique chard with thick, white stems striped in pink on back and hot fuchsia on front. With uniform, mildly savoyed dark green leaves, it's a great color for your salad mixes! 

There is still time to plant a number of winter veggies. Check out our guide on Growing Onions, Garlic & Shallot and our tips for spinach and peas here


Planting Bulbs

Planting is easy, just dig, drop & done! 


No matter the size of your garden, there’s always a place to plant bulbs! (Don’t forget, they do great in pots!) After a long winter, there’s nothing like having your garden bursting with spring color! It’s the prettiest effect to plant bulbs in masses, a sea of purple iris or cheerful daffodils.

As far as planting time, as long as you put your bulbs in before Thanksgiving, you'll have spring bloomers. We don't foresee another heat wave so now thru mid-November is a great time to get them into the ground! When storing bulbs, keep them in a paper bag in a cool environment until planting time.  

Bearded irises need the most time in the ground to get their root system developed and established. As far as planting time, the earlier the better! For those of you with Iris' already in the ground, it's time to divide them and other dormant or spent blooming bulbs! Dividing keeps them from overcrowding and ensures the most flowers come spring! 


Ensure that your soil has good drainage, bulbs don’t like to be standing in water. We recommend loosen the soil before planting and work in either our Eureka Planting Mix or Master's Pro-Potting Soil for containers.

A general rule of thumb for planting depth is twice the height of the bulb. Plant large bulbs an average of 5 inches apart and small bulbs roughly 2 to 3 inches apart, pointy side up. For Fritillarias, because of their size and shape, plant them on their sides to keep them from collecting water and rotting. Mother Nature will take care of the rest!



Before placing the bulbs fertilize with E.B. Stone Organics Bulb Food 4-6-4, adding an amount in each hole dug underneath the bulb. And don’t forget your bulbs from last year as well, this will help to maximize flower production for another year of stunners! Both fertilizers contain bone meal but for the old-fashioned gardeners out there, we have Master Nursery’s Bone Meal 1-15-0 in stock. High in phosphorus, bone meal is great for strengthening roots and stems on not only your bulbs, but sweet peas and bareroot too!

Cover bulbs level with the surrounding soil. Don’t “hill up” over the bulb or leave a sinkhole for a water pocket to form. After planting, water in your bulbs. A thorough watering encourages deep root growth and the sooner the roots develop, the faster your bulbs can tolerate cold and frost.

Certain bulbs, when flower and leaf stalks emerge, are a favorite snack of slugs and snails. Protect your budding bulbs with Sluggo or Sluggo Plus, both available in our shop.


One technique we love in our gardens and in containers is planting in layers AKA bulb lasagna. As the bulbs overlapping in flowering time, you’ll have a constant stream of blooming beauties. Choose late bloomers like tulips for the lowest layer and muscari, daffodils and other mid-season blooms for the middle. For the top, plant earlier flowering bulbs like crocuses and irises.

We’re really excited about our new and unusual bearded iris rhizomes that have just arrived from Holland. 'Attention Please' might just take the cake for the name alone! For specific instructions on planting bearded iris, check out our Gro-Sheet