how to spruce up your garden in the fall, Shamrock Landscape, Benicia, CA 94510

How to Spruce Up Your Fall Garden

Just because fall has arrived doesn’t mean that your gardening days have to be over until spring.  For most of us, the arrival of fall usually means it’s time to wind down outdoor activities and gardening chores. We stop hanging out on the patio, lawns need to be mowed less frequently and sadly, most annuals are looking spent by now. But it does not have to be this way. Did you know that it is quite possible to create a beautiful fall landscape that will take you right up to the winter month? In a previous post we talked about fall maintenance, here are some tips on how to spruce up your fall garden.

Pick Perennials

fall-blooming perennials, Shamrock Landscape, Benicia, CA 94510Don’t just assume that flowers are a treat for spring and summer, many actually prefer to bloom in the fall.  Many mum varieties are hardy and don’t require much maintenance.  So, if you’re going to take the time to plant something new in the fall, you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck with perennials such as mums aka chrysanthemums. Shelby Devore, gardening expert and founder of Farminence, suggests adding mums for a pop of color during the fall. What many don’t realize is that mums can be cut back after blooming to re-emerge to bloom again next fall.


Don’t Buy Plants in Full Bloom

As enticing as it may be, never buy plants in full bloom. Once a plant is already in bloom, the flowers won’t last for more than a couple of weeks at most. Instead, look for plants that have lots of buds.  This will allow you to enjoy your plants for much longer.

Consider Trees and Grasses

Especially here in California, fall is a good time to plant trees because the soil is still warm in the fall, the roots can grow without the stress of sweltering temperatures. Choice trees for fall planting include maples, pines, fig trees, and black diamond crape myrtle trees. Another good way to spruce up a yard in the fall is with ornamental grasses. Our top picks include Blue Oat, Purple Fountain Grass, and Little Bluestem.

Related: 15 Good-Looking Ornamental Grasses to Spruce up Your Outdoors

Pick Drought Resistant Plants

Always a good idea for California gardens. Most people tend to put away the hoses and stop hand watering when the weather cools, so choosing a plant that won’t succumb to drought can be key.

Pay Attention to Hardiness Zones

You should know your hardiness zone before purchasing plants. Pay attention to labels that let you know if a plant is suitable for growing in your zone. You can find your USDA Hardiness Zone here. Remember that your zone is just a ballpark figure: With a bit of ingenuity (and protection), you can grow almost anything anywhere.

Have Realistic Expectations

You have to understand that plants don’t grow at the same rate in the fall as they do in the summer. Fewer daylight hours mean plant growth rates decline as winter approaches. Cooler temperatures can also initiate dormant periods in plants. In short, don’t expect the fall garden to look the same as a summer one.

Layer Your Garden

Fall is the time for pumpkins.  Why not add more color by layering your garden with some pumpkins and gourds?  Get creative and don’t be shy to add another element to your garden.

Don’t Forget About Spring

spring bulbs, Shamrock Landscape, Benicia, CA 94510Don’t forget about spring! Fall is the ideal time for planting several spring blooms. Bulbs are generally inexpensive and easy to plant. Just follow the instructions. You can now get started with hyacinths, alliums, crocuses, and daffodils. Hold off planting Tulips until the later part of October for they like much cooler temperatures.

With that, we hope you enjoyed this post about how to spruce up your fall garden.  Happy gardening!

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