Volume 08 | October 2017
The Bounty of Fall...Flowers
For me, the first signs of fall aren’t the cooling temperatures or changing leaves, but the blooms of the many fall-flowering plants in my garden. Another month or so to enjoy the yellows, pinks, purples, and blues before the threat of frost looms and tender perennials and tropicals must move inside. A few more precious weeks of butterflies and bees hopping flower to flower. For some, it is the first and only bloom of the year, but others provide an encore performance of late-season color or are still blooming from summer.
Beyond being pretty and adding visual interest to the fall garden, flowers provide needed nectar to butterflies and bees and are an important part of gardening for wildlife. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries provides a Habitat at Home guide with more information on how to make your yard and garden wildlife-friendly. If you'd like to learn more about native bees, USDA recently published a free book, Bee Basics: An Introduction to Our Native Bees.
Narrow-leaved sunflower, Helianthus angustofolius
Rosebud salvia, Salvia involucrata
Caryopteris 'Bluebeard'
Great Blue Lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica
October's Garden To-Do List:
  • rake leaves as they fall and add to beds as mulch or compost
  • clean bird feeders
  • continue providing clean water sources for birds and insects
  • plant spring blooming bulbs
  • dig and store summer blooming bulbs to avoid freezing and rot in winter
  • add mulch to protect perennials from winter temperatures
  • collect seeds from annuals and perennials to start new plants later
  • add compost to beds so it can break down over the winter
  • prepare pots for winter by emptying and storing upside down
  • divide perennials that have outgrown their space and replant in another area or share with friends
  • be aware of nightly low temperatures and bring tropical plants inside when temperatures fall below 55 degrees F.
  • consider drying or freezing tender herbs before frosts arrive
  • plant trees & perennials so that roots are established before the heat of next summer
  • water new plantings when there is not sufficient rain - just as in summer, thorough weekly watering is best, but don't allow new plants to dry out during dry, windy weather

Thank you to all who came out to the Fall Gardening Festival!

Have gardening questions? Help is available year round through the Master Gardener Help Desk by calling 757-385-8156 or email your question to vbmghelp@vbgov.com
Upcoming Events
Oct 2 - Gardening Talk - Vegetable Gardening from Beginning to End
7 - 8pm
Pam Kern, VCE Virginia Beach Master Gardener Learn how to plan, plant, and enjoy your vegetables, especially some you didn't know you could grow here, through the year. Free and Open to the Public; No Registration Required. Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23452

October 9 - Plant Doctor Clinic - Oceana NEX
10am - 2pm

October 14 - Plant Doctor Clinics
Virginia Beach Farmer's Market: 10am-2pm
Shore Drive Farmer's Market: 9am - 12pm

Oct 14 - Last Rain Barrel Workshop of 2017
Participants will build a 55-gallon sealed rain barrel to take home. A free diverter kit and instructions for installation with an existing downspout are included. Family friendly event. Registration is required. Register here . Cost is $50 per barrel.

Nov 6 - Gardening Talk - City of Virginia Beach Codes & Laws for Landscaping
P.J. Skully with the Virginia Beach Planning Department will discuss Virginia Beach policies and laws regarding landscape design, especially those on waterways. Free and Open to the Public; No Registration Required. Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
Seed Collecting & Saving
As summer's flowers fade, collect dried seed heads to save for next year's garden. Store seeds in a cool, dry, dark place until ready to sow.  

Herb Garden @ HRAREC 

Located at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HRAREC), 1444 Diamond Springs Rd., the herb garden showcases both perennial and annual herbs. Volunteers work on Thursday mornings from April to October, as weather permits. The herb garden is open to the public 365 days a year during daylight hours.

Plan Ahead
Virginia Flower & Garden Expo - January 26-28, 2018

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Jill Wright at 757-385-4769 during the business hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event. TDD number (800) 828-1120.  
Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.