Gardening in fall doesn’t mean the loss of blossoms or falling leaves. While the luscious shades of summer seem to fade away, don’t lose hope for a vivid garden. The bright greens of summer are beautiful, but fall offers its display of vibrant color. As the seasons change from heat to chill, deciduous plants change their foliage to survive the winter. Appreciate the diversity in your garden as the rainbow of color transitions to the reds, oranges, and golds of fall. There is a unique beauty to fall, the contrast between the end of summer and the start of winter. As some plants die, others burst into life. In any case, gardening in fall
With the cooler weather and sunny days, gardening in fall is such a beautiful way to spend your free time. If you’re not a fan of sweating under the hot sun while you tend your summer garden, fall is the perfect time to go outside more often. There are fewer bugs and less humidity, which is appreciated when bent over for hours in the garden. The changing of the leaves isn’t the only thing to appreciate about the season, although it is always a stunning display.
Even if you live in a region where the fall temperature is already below freezing, there are plenty of creative ways to adorn your yard. Decorate your yard with gourds and pumpkins. You can even get the kids involved with some fun crafts. Use corn husks, popcorn, and cranberry strands to create colorful fall garlands. Decorate your house and garden with these fall festivities, and birds will come closer for a snack.
Speaking of snacks, you may not think that gardening in fall allows for vegetable gardens. Let’s talk about some fall foods perfect for your home garden.
Although the weather grows colder and winter is approaching, it’s not too late to start a vegetable garden. If you want to start gardening in the fall, try to plant seeds during the heat of August. The critical element is to understand your plants growing schedule and which hardiness zone you live in.
Research how long it takes for your crops to germinate and fully mature. When you understand how long they take to grow, you can map out the best times to plant. So when considering your planting schedule, make sure that the crops will come to maturity before the first frost.
When your summer vegetables die off, remove them from your garden and try some new crops. It’s good for your soil to rotate, which plants grow, but it’s also useful for you. So try some different fall veggies to replace your summer garden crops.
Gardening in Fall: Fabulous Fresh Veggies
- Carrots: Carrots thrive in cool weather. If you know your hardiness zone, then those in Zone 8 and further south benefit from fall and winter carrots. They can be planted close together, about 1-2 inches apart. Harvest as they grow larger and the tops poke through the soil. If you want, after harvesting, twist off the tops to plant over the winter.
- Beets: Beets love the cool weather of fall, but they love the sun as well. Sow your seeds in a spot that will receive full sun, 3-4 inches apart, approximately 10 weeks before the first frost. Beets planted in the fall are even said to be sweeter than those in the spring. Don’t miss out on this bright and hardy fall crop.
- Lettuce: Salad lettuce varieties like romaine, iceberg, and Boston butter can do well in the fall also. Water them well, especially if your area is experiencing a dry spell. Keeping your plants hydrated is key to healthy fall harvest.
- Broccoli: Broccoli grown in the fall and winter tastes the best, with extra sweetness and fresh flavor added by growth through the chill. The sprouts need a good amount of space to grow, so place seed or transplants 18-24 inches apart in rows about 2 feet away from each other. Spread a generous layer of compost or fertilizer over the ground to keep seedlings fed.
Fall Garden Projects
Fall is the perfect season to undertake garden projects. Do a little maintenance, add new features, and organize your garden tools. Since the weather is cooler, try your hand at a garden project. As a gardener, you probably have many tools, pots, and soil bags sitting around wherever they fit best. A garden shed is ideal for tool organization and even plant germination.
It may seem a bit overwhelming to build your garden shed, but with Ryan’s Shed Plans, it’s easy! They provide thousands of garden shed blueprints for your access and ease. Search their blueprint library for your ideal style, then follow the simple steps to build your shed.
Their site is designed for first time builders. It lists all materials needed, has easy to follow instructions and tips along the way. For a fall garden project, check out Ryan’s Shed Plans.
If you’re feeling down about your garden, as petals fall and stems turn brown, look to cold hardy ornamental plants. Your garden doesn’t have to fade to shades of brown even if it’s not the primary growing season. Blossoming and colorful plants that thrive in cooler weather are a great addition to your garden.
It’s important to rotate the types of plants in your yard anyway since each absorbs different nutrients in the soil. Take some time to remove old annuals that are out of season and plant some fall florals. Make sure to care for your perennials, though, as they will blossom again when the weather warms up. Trim dead leaves and blossoms off so the stems can store energy throughout the winter.
For your garden beds, window boxes and decoration, plant some colder weather plants for gardening in fall…
- Chrysanthemums: These bushy flowers are a fall classic. The bright red, orange, or yellow of the flowers bring color and life to your yard. From mini sizes to large pots, mums come in many varieties. To encourage growth, deadhead blossoms by trimming off the dead flowers.
- Flowering Kale: This is also known as ornamental cabbage. It is a hardy and colorful plant to feature in your fall garden. The ruffled purple and green leaves mesh fabulously with fall shades of reds and yellows. They should last through the winter, but keep in mind that this kale is ornamental, not edible.
- Black-eyed Susan: This flower brings a hint of summer to your fall garden. The yellow petals and dark brown centers are reminiscent of sunflowers. Their bright colors attract pollinators like bees and butterflies to your yard.
- Pansies: Pansies bring bright pops of cheerful color to your fall garden. Their two-tone petals mix stunning combinations of white, purple, blue, yellow, and orange. If you love the look of pansies but live in a frigid area, try violas. Violas are a smaller similar variety that is even more cold-hardy.
Frequently Asked Questions: Gardening in Fall
What should I do with all the leaf debris?
With fall comes the falling leaves. Depending on how many trees you have in your yard, you may have quite a pile of leaves to deal with. It’s a lot of work to keep the yard cleared from the constant leaf litter. But consider leaving them on the ground to nourish your garden. Run a lawnmower over a layer of leaves spread evenly over your garden, then decompose over the winter. This will add nutrients to the soil for the next growing season.
I need help with garden maintenence, where should I go?
If you need assistance clearing overgrown shrubs, bagging leaves, or trimming trees, Handiworker’s Garden Maintenance crew can help you out. We offer premier services for your garden assistance. Whether you need an extra hand or are completely overwhelmed by your yard, we’re here for you.
How do I balance garden seasons between annuals and perennials?
It’s healthy for your garden soil to rotate what kinds of plants you grow. Each plant species absorbs specific nutrients from the soil to keep the soil healthy and rotate them. The seasons help the natural rotation of perennials and annuals. As your annuals die off, make sure to remove them from your garden to make room for next season’s annuals. Pay extra attention to your perennials if you want them to last another season; make sure to trim dead leaves or blossoms to preserve their energy.