By Marie Havenga
Shorter days and cooler temps are no reason to hang up your gardening gloves for the year.
It’s the perfect time to plant mums in glowing hues of yellow, purple and red or opt for a couple of other popular varieties that make the fall season their friend.
You can plant pansies and flowering cabbage pretty much right up until the ground freezes, according to Kristin Deiulius of Delass Garden Market in Spring Lake.
The cabbage, not of the coleslaw or cabbage roll variety, turn deeper shades of purple, pink or white the colder it gets.
Look at the vein down the center of the plant. Its tint clues you into the color you’ll get when the mercury dips.
“Flowering cabbage is becoming more and more popular because of its color in the snow,” Deiulius said. “They’re really neat.”
And pansies aren’t just for planting. They also work on your plate as an edible garnish.
Not bad when your lunch blooms straight up to the first snowfall. Or get creative with your Thanksgiving feast and garnish a dish with your perky pansies.
Head out to Bethke Farms at 12164 136th Ave. in Robinson Township. You can take a hayride to the patch then proceed to pick the perfect plump pumpkin.
Fall is also a perfect time to prepare for next year’s growth season.
Prune bushes and trees and add a winter fertilizer to your flower and vegetable beds.