1. Think ahead.
For the best selection of annuals and perennials that shine in the fall, shop in the spring, when garden centers have the largest selection. You can always add to your landscape when other fall annuals become available. Check out nine colorful flowers that grow in shade.
2. Put on a fall show.
For the maximum impact, set aside an area where you can cluster fall plants. A bed of late-season blooms and colorful foliage creates a fabulous focal point in any yard.
3. Mix it up.
Design your fall garden using trees, shrubs, vines and grasses, as well as annual and perennial flowers. You’ll have a garden with texture, movement and amazing color. Here are eight flowers that attract hummingbirds.
4. Be creative with color.
Choose plants that complement the traditional fall palette to make colors even more vibrant. On the color wheel, green complements red, blue complements orange and purple complements yellow.
5. Fill in with fall annuals.
By autumn, a few spring and early-summer plants may have died back, leaving you with gaps to fill. Buy cool-season annuals, or start them from seed in midsummer.
6. Put out more pots.
If your fall garden calls for color or texture, a great-looking container may be the easiest solution. Assemble late-season pots to accent or fill in any ho-hum spots in your beds. Plus: Never plant these five flowers in your yard.
7. Don’t forget to water.
The sun-drenched days of summer may be over, but your garden still needs water to survive. If your landscape isn’t getting enough rain, water any new plants, as well as existing ones, until the ground freezes.
8. Maintain your garden’s good looks.
Weeding, raking leaves, removing diseased and insect-infested plants and dividing overgrown ones not only helps your yard look great, it prepares your garden to survive the winter.
9. Stop the fertilizer.
Plant growth should slow before winter sets in, so don’t encourage it with fertilizers. You can continue feeding container plants, though, to extend their late-season beauty.
10. Know your frost date.
A key event on any garden calendar is the average date of the first frost: Even a light frost can damage certain plants, signaling the close of the growing season. Find your local date through your county extension or on the Web.