With the weather starting to cool down and summer behind us, you may want to freshen up your yard for the autumn months with vibrant new blooms, vegetables or trees.
Before planting any new fall blooms, you should look around your garden and make note of any environmental conditions such as drainage or sun and shade patterns. With this information in mind, you should be ready to pick your fall plants, said Davis Sanders of South Pleasantburg Nursery.
“Fall and winter plants don’t require as much water as spring and summer annuals, but [they] are often heavy feeders and should be fertilized regularly,” Sanders said. “Almost all of them require full sun, so if the garden is shaded in winter folks should look to shade-loving evergreen perennials for foliage color and interest. A few examples are coral bells, autumn fern, Lenten rose and Pulmonaria.”
In addition to fertilizing and watering, fall plants may need to be deadheaded by cutting the dead flower off of the plant to discourage additional blooming, said Pat Schweitzer of Martin Garden Center.
Once you have an idea of what you need to do to maintain and care for your new plants, you should be ready to choose your new blooms.
“Popular fall annuals include pansies, violas, snapdragons, dianthus, ornamental peppers, flowering kale and cabbage,” she said. “Fall is [also] the time to plant spring flowering bulbs such as crocus, daffodil, hyacinth, grape hyacinth, tulip, lily of the valley, allium [and] scilla. These bulbs need at least six weeks of cold stratification before blooming, whether that’s in the ground or being refrigerated.”
Some additional fall blooms you may want to consider include many sages and salvias, helianthus, chrysanthemums, asters, late blooming paniculata hydrangeas, sweet autumn clematis, silver lace vine and ginger lily.
While putting flowering plants in your garden, you may also want to begin planting bush beans, yellow and zucchini squash, snow peas, sugar snap peas, lettuce, spinach, kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Swiss chard, radishes, beets and carrots in the fall, said Schweitzer.
You may also want to consider planting trees and shrubs during the cooler temperatures.
“In addition to colorful winter annuals and perennials, fall is the best time to plant almost everything,” Sanders said. “When the days are short and the nights are cold, shrubs and trees slow or stop growing above ground, but since our soil in [the] Upstate never freezes, the roots will continue to grow throughout winter, setting the stage for vigorous growth next spring.”
Ultimately, you can use the fall to prepare your garden for the spring by planting trees and shrubs as well as vegetables such as snow peas and squash, or just enjoy colorful flowers such as pansies and coral bells.