Ask Burton: Is time to change out my summer color for winter, even if my summer color still looks good?

Your summer color, in many cases, is gorgeous right now. Do not let that deter you. We have a good reason! Pansies and other winter color planted while we’re still having warm(er) weather will grow and fill in more quickly than those planted once we’ve gotten cold. A bed of pansies planted in late October will be much fuller than the same bed planted in late November by the time January and February roll around.

The tradeoff is simple. One great month of summer color followed by four lackluster months until the March warm-up perks winter plantings up simply doesn’t outweigh one month of losing that summer color and gaining four months of fuller, beautiful pansy displays.

If you’ve been putting off changing out your color because it looks great right now, it’s understandable. If one or two areas are truly stunning, do them later. Every other bed you intend to put cool weather color in should be changed out now.