has arrived, with our first frost in late October. My Bermuda grass is going dormant and so is
my lawn mower. I decided to add two new plants to my garden this season. I
planted dusty miller and Swiss chard alongside pansies in mid-October.
miller is valued for its fuzzy, lacy, and silvery-gray foliage. The plant ranges in height from eight to 18
inches. This plant is considered as an
annual in our region but it can emulate the characteristics of a perennial
plant in the mid-south that can survive mild winters. You can grow this plant in full sun to
partial shade. Small clusters of yellow flowers develop on year-old plants.
miller grows best in well-drained soil. It does not like damp, wet soils. These types of conditions will lead to stem
rot and other fungus. Water the plant regularly during periods of warm, dry
weather. The fact that this plant is
drought-tolerant is a plus.
miller is a light feeder that needs a minimum of fertilization. A light
application of a slow-release fertilizer will be sufficient for the plant to
flourish. Be sure to water the
fertilizer in after application. A layer
of good organic mulch will help to inhibit the growth of weeds and conserve
soil moisture. Organic mulch will also add
nutrients to the plant once it starts to decompose.
chard is both an ornamental and edible plant. It has
colorful stems and big, bright green leaves. It is also a nutritious
vegetable. Swiss chard is one of the few
greens that can tolerate warm and cool weather.
It is easy to grow and will thrive until killed by a hard freeze.
chard grows best in full to partial shade.
It would be wise to add composted manure, blood meal or a timed-release
vegetable fertilizer to the soil before planting. It is imperative to water regularly during
periods of drought. Applying organic
mulch will keep the soil cool and moist and suppress weeds. The plant is generally pest-free but may be
attacked by aphids or caterpillars.
can harvest large leaves by cutting then from the outer part of the plant at
the base of their stems. The young
tender leaves are the most flavorful and look good in a salad. The leaves may also be used in many culinary
cannot wait to see how these plants perform in the garden! I am already looking forward to tasting the
next time, happy gardening!