Autumn is a great time for adding some extra color to your yard at both ends of the growing season. Not only can you plant classics like chrysanthemums and ornamental cabbages to liven up the fall landscape, but you can also start getting your yard ready for spring and next summer.
For an instant pop of color, annuals are a great option for your fall landscape. Of course, nothing says autumn like some thoughtfully arranged mums, but there are many other options to planting in your yard, including ornamental cabbages, ornamental grasses and fall blooming perennials. Balance heights and colors to add elegance to your fall plantings.
Many ornamental grasses are great to plant in the early fall, because they continue to remain attractive even as they pass by for the season. They can be beautiful emerging from the snow and just need to be cut back in the spring. Ornamental grasses can also add dramatic height, texture and color to your garden. Planting them as the weather starts to cool allows them to grow strong root systems to ensure beautiful ornamental grasses year after year.
Autumn is a great time to add some small ornamental trees or shrubs to your landscape. Take care to plant late enough that the growth period for the tree has passed, but early enough to give the roots time to set in the ground before freezing. As always, water thoroughly and mulch well, leaving space around the base of the trunk so that you don’t rot the bark on the plant.
Containers are a great choice for fall plantings if you already have an established garden with carefully thought out arrangements that you don’t want to disturb. A pair of large pots with mix of grasses, perennials and annuals can really set off the entrance to your home. Later fall you can add hay bales, cornstalks and pumpkins for variety and seasonal flair.
For a beautiful display of springtime flowers, plant bulbs in the fall. Daffodils, crocus, tulips, hyacinths to name a few, should all be planted in late fall to achieve beautiful results in spring. Planting with a sprinkle of bone meal in the hole is a good idea for providing essential nutrients, other fertilizers are available as well if the bone meal attracts burrowing pests. If your yard is prone to troublesome squirrels or groundhogs, try putting a layer of chicken wire above and below the layer of bulbs to the thwart the furry friends.
Believe it or not, autumn is the perfect time to install a new lawn! The cooler days won’t dry out tender new blades as quickly, and with less sun available, the roots will be stimulated to grow stronger and deeper. Plant a fresh lawn this fall, and you’ll be amazed at how fast it greens up next year. Mid-August through September is the optimal time for a seed lawn.