Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Middle South
October, 2003
Regional Report

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The big hit of my fall salad garden is dainty English watercress, which produces more leaves each time it is cut.

Garden's Greatest Hits

When I chose this topic a few days ago, it was because I was so delighted with the English watercress in my fall salad garden. It's been a blockbuster success, but then so have many of the other things I've grown for the first time this year. Indeed, the more I've thought about this season's standouts, the more I've realized their implications for next year's garden. Perhaps doing the same with your garden will help pave the way for another fantastic season next year.

Starting with Spring
What were the most delightful moments in your early spring garden? I recall scrubbing pots amidst the delicious aroma of pink 'Anne Marie' hyacinths that I bought at Wal-Mart. Better plant more of those this fall! And here's another tip. If you can find a pot of 'Victoria Blue' myosotis (forget-me-nots) at a nursery, plant it right away. Mine bloomed for two months last spring, and reseeded so well that I have enough babies to make a mass planting.

Summer Standouts
My tomatoes were troubled by disease, but I've been eating 'Karpatia' peppers every day for two months. And then there was the 'Dutch Tapestry' annual phlox, which made such pretty cut flowers, and a bed of 'Romano' bush beans, which kept bearing beans even when I forgot to pick them.

Mother Nature surprised me with a bumper crop of buttercup squash that grew out of my compost heap and tumbled onto the lawn. Maybe if I give them their own little compost heap, seeds from the buttercups I eat this winter will do the same thing next year.

I hope you get the idea here. If you don't have a garden record-keeping system, at least get some sticky labels, scrawl a few notes, and affix them to leftover seed packets. But what's most important is to give this whole notion of your garden's greatest hits some thinking time now. It's one more way to enjoy this year's garden while making plans for next year's fun.

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