Color Your Fall Garden

Color Your Fall Garden

August and September are perfect months to give your garden a much-needed dose of bold color. 
By this time, most spring- and early-summer bloomers have already faded, but with a little careful planning even a beginning gardener can have a garden in full bloom right up until frost.
Late-blooming perennials add color
Add late-blooming perennials such as New England aster, sedum, Russian sage, and agastache to your garden now to help carry the color show forward. Other great fall favorites include: black-eyed Susan, daylily, butterfly bush, coreopsis, phlox, and vervain.

Ornamental grasses add structure
Ornamental grasses are also ideal candidates for late-season planting. These airy beauties are at their best at this time of year as they send up spectacular flower spikes that you can leave in place all winter long. Grasses add structure, too. Some great grasses to look for include: switch grass, fountain grass, muhly grass, and maiden grass.

Groundcovers solve problems
And, if you want to perk up a hard-to-plant location, consider adding groundcovers such as hens and chicks, creeping sedum, ivy, or mondo grass. These low-growing charmers are a snap to grow, and, over time, they’ll spread and beautify barren areas of your yard. For quick-coverage results, plant ground covers 6 to 10 inches apart.
Check out our groundcover guide.

Plan for your location
Of course, before you buy any plant, you should always read the plant label first. If your garden is sunny, look for plants listed for that environment. Sun lovers require a spot that receives at least 6 hours of direct sun a day. Anything less, consider shade-loving perennials instead.

Water, mulch, enjoy
Once your perennials are in the ground, be sure to water them every few days especially if the weather is hot and dry. Spread a thick mulch of shredded bark around the base of your new plantings to help keep them hydrated while they get adjusted to their new home. Otherwise, all you need to do is plant, water, and enjoy.
Check out our guide to watering plants, indoors and out.

Written by Doug Jimerson