Autumn Garden Prep

By John Spagnoli

Fall is a wonderful time of year for plants and if you’re determined to get out in the garden while the September weather is still mild, you will find that there are numerous plants that bloom in the autumn.

Many plants can be planted in the fall for instant color. Asters, for example, bloom in the autumn but are planted mid-spring.

Ornamental cabbage and kale would make a wonderful additions to any fall garden. These plants were bred for heartiness and durability with beautiful striking leaves. The good news is their ability to survive very cold temperatures in the winter. With some protection, these plants are able to withstand temperatures as low as five degrees Fahrenheit.

Chrysanthemums are popular because of the assortment of colors available. Mums add a collage of color to any garden. Personally, I have little luck with these plants. My mums almost never come up the next year because it is too cold in the winter. The flowers are forced to bloom in the fall season, which weakens the plant. These plants are a great addition to your fall garden. The selection of flowers are amazing in the array of different sizes and colors of each flower.

Fall flowering Asters or New York Asters leaves are smooth while New England Asters are hairy. New York Asters tend to be smaller in stature with more flowers. Blooming from late summer to fall, attracting many butterflies and bees. You can see them growing
on the side of roads or hiking trails in the fall.

Another beautiful flowering plant is Goldenrod, which has a bad reputation for causing hay fever. This is not true. Goldenrods have limited pollen that does not blow in the wind. These flowers are pollinated by bees. Ragweed blooms at the same time as Golden Rod, however, Ragweed produces an enormous amount of pollen. These plants have excessive amounts of pollen that are wind-blown.

Goldenrod blooms in late fall with cascading small yellow flowers. A good grower in drought conditions, there are many varieties of different sizes and heights. Goldenrod flowers attract bees and butterflies, a native plant that I recommend adding to your garden. However, it can be invasive so watch where you plant them.

Dusty Miller can be planted in the spring for its showy decorative leaves and in the fall, it’s a great addition for the autumn plants with very interesting leaves. Grow it in full sunlight so the plant doesn’t get leggy. It is a very hardy plant that survives well into the winter. Once mature, it has small yellow flowers.

There are plants for every type of garden and countless varieties that can add color to your yard.

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