FIRST DAY OF FALL: Keeping up with your autumn garden

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WEST MONROE, LA. (KTVE/KARD)– Within the next few weeks we will start to see a few changes due to the season transition, some changes that could work in the favor of plant lovers.

Kerry Heafner with the LSU Ag Center said while we might not notice the change from summer to fall, plants do. That’s because they photosynthesize.

“So plants are very cued in to any change in light and our number of daylight hours are decreasing and will continue to do so until the winter solstice in December,” Heafner said.

He said if you have plants that can be moved, you can protect them by placing them to the south facing side of your home.

“Or into some area where they can be protected from cold and wind,” Heafner said.

He also said just because summer is over, doesn’t mean it’s too late to plant.

Heafner said the cooler temperatures and fall rains will help your plants establish stronger roots before the colder months roll around.

Between now and the time we turn the clocks back in early November is one of the best times of the year to plant cool-season annuals and vegetables.

“So things like pansies, ornamental cabbages, and chrysanthemums- things we typically see in the fall just require a shorter amount of daylight hours than the summer stuff, so all that stuff is going out now,” Heafner said.

So as leaves go from green to yellow, red, orange, and brown, there’s no need to worry. Plants are simply preparing for their winter slumber.

“It’s just a response to the daylight hours decreasing and they character of being deciduous is just a survival mechanism for winter. It’s a way a plant or tree conserves water during the winter,” Heafner said.

Heafner said we can expect our first frost between mid and late November. That’s when we will start to see significant leaf drop.

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