This article is by Jaclyn Crawford and published by ImproveNet
While you may be thinking less of your landscaping in fall, now is the time to incorporate bold reds, oranges and yellows into your garden. Don’t let fall gardening fall off your radar when it comes to your exterior.
Let’s not forget about your fall vegetable haul and even getting ready for next year’s garden as well. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to your fall garden. Here’s how you can care for it.
Fall Gardening Tips
With the weather changing to cooler temperatures, this might have you thinking about how you can prepare your garden for the future. There is plenty you can be doing right now to help your garden thrive.
“Plants can be fickle and not knowing how to care for them leading into the winter can lead to drying and a severe lack of new growth,” Ronna Moore, CEO of Fairy Homes & Gardens. “Luckily, there are ways to prepare your garden, so you won’t have to deal with a lot of the after-effects of the cooler weather.”
She suggests that overwintering is the best way to prepare for the cold weather, meaning the steps you can take to protect your garden before winter.
“Overwintering is a fancy term that encompasses everything a gardener must do in order to protect their garden before winter,” she said. “It can include covering plants, taking them inside or finding them shelter from the cold under an outdoor covering.”
Here are a few things you can do to overwinter:
- Take herbs, such as rosemary and sweet potato vine, inside.
- Store bulbs in a cool, dry place over the winter to replant.
- Don’t prune flowering bushes, such as hydrangeas, as it can ruin next year’s bloom.
However, if you haven’t had the first frost yet, it may not be time to start the overwintering process. If that’s the case, there is still some fall garden maintenance that you can do to help the preparation process go as smooth as possible.
“Keep your plants moist with a second layer of mulch around the drip line,” Moore said. “Water loss is a huge issue in the fall, and mulch will help the soil retain its moisture. Mulch also prevents freezing and thawing that can heave plants out of the ground and cause almost certain death.”
If you plan on adding additional mulch to your garden this year, be sure to check your budget. The average cost to add mulch to a yard is between $200 and $2,000, depending on how much coverage you’ll need.
What Grows In Fall?
Just because summer has ended doesn’t mean your gardening is finished. Similar tasks that you had in the summer, such as pulling weeds and watering, still must be done. What you might not know is that autumn is actually one of the best times to plant and maintain your garden.
“Did you know fall actually has more good days for planting than spring does? In spring, you have to wait for the ground to warm up in order to start planting, but in fall, the ground is already warmed from summer, and the only thing you have to wait on is winter,” Moore said.
You might be surprised to learn that there are vegetables that thrive in fall weather. They should be planted in August to have the best chance of bringing you fall produce. Here are a few vegetables that grow in fall:
- Brussel Sprouts
Best Fall Flowers
If you have a flower garden, now is the time to incorporate those warm fall colors you’ve been waiting for. Red, orange and yellow hues are in abundance this time of year and the change of seasons shouldn’t stop you from playing with color in your garden.
“Fall gardening shouldn’t be a hassle or a question of will I or won’t I,” Moore said. “You can still enjoy your garden, even if those pesky cold temperatures are on the horizon.”
Chrysanthemums are one of my favorite ways to enhance the fall look in my yard and they are hardy. With proper care, you can have fall flowers for many months to come. Additionally, ornamental grasses, like purple fountain grass, will help make these fall colors pop!
Preparing A Garden For Spring
It might seem hard to think about now, but before you know it, you’ll be planning your spring garden. You should be getting a jumpstart now on planting spring bulbs, so they are able to bloom when the warm weather arrives.
“In order for spring bulbs to bloom properly, they need cooler temperatures and a period of dormancy,” Moore said. “This is perfect for fall planting because it gives the plant the time it needs to really flourish in spring.”
A garden isn’t just a summer project but needs maintenance year-round in order to thrive. Take advantage of the fall weather to plant autumn-friendly produce and prepare for the winter.