For further information on season-extending garden strategies, look to Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long, by Eliot Coleman (Chelsea Green, 1999; $24.95) and The 12-Month Gardener: Simple Strategies for Extending Your Growing Season by Jeff Ashton (Lark Books, 2002; $5.94).
Clever Gardening Technique
Fall Rose Planting
Over the years there's been an evolution in planting advice. Many of my older garden books strongly suggest fall planting. Later books suggest against it, then garden centers began offering container-grown plants, which have made season-long planting fashionable. From my own experience, planting at the height of summer is a mistake unless you're ready to do some serious babysitting. Fall planting, however, has proven very successful for me, and it seems to really give plants a head start on the following growing season.
What prompted thinking along these lines was a catalog I recently received from Chamblee's Rose Nursery (http://www.chambleeroses.com), which begins shipping container-grown, own-root roses in September. Although their Web sites suggests fall planting only in Zones 7 and warmer, in contacting owner Mark Chamblee, he said their rose varieties that are hardy to Zones 4 or 5 should do fine if planted prior to October 15 (the catalog includes a very useful chart). He especially recommended the Griffith Buck and Knock-Out roses. Besides these two lines of roses, Chamblee's also offers David Austin and old garden roses, all own-root, plus the company was the original source of EarthKind Landscape Roses, a designation developed by Texas A&M University Agriculture System. Chamblee's also promotes and practices the EarthKind Environmental Landscape Management Practices outlined by Texas A&M.