The leaves are changing and that familiar Autumn chill is in the air. Gone are the sunny, balmy days of summer, as well as the bright sunflowers and daisies, green grass and our summer garden harvest.
But just because the grass in your yard may be turning brown and your garden which was once thriving a few months ago might resemble a wasteland doesn’t mean you cannot get a few more months of color in your yard, add some fun fall touches to your front porch, as well as prepare for next Spring.
Planting Fall Color
Once all the bright summer color has vanished, it may seem as if your porch and yard are gloomy and boring. They don’t have to be! Plenty of flowers can flourish in a pot or bed in the Autumn. Chrysanthemums, Asters and Pansies are a few flowers that can grow heartily throughout Fall. Try big pots of beautiful chrysanthemums on both sides of your door to welcome guests.
For a fun weekend project, try container gardening with Fall perennials. Use seasonal perennials that will survive well in your area and plant lovely combination arrangements in large pots. You can get really creative but usually the large pot is filled with a taller perennial or decorative grass in the center, some ‘filler’ plants or flowers in the middle, and some ‘spiller’ plants as the final, last layer; these will spill over the pot in a nice fashion. Here is a great step-by-step video on the process. Cheerful pots and beds of pansies will add color to your yard as well.
Cleaning up the Garden
Once you’ve enjoyed your summer harvest, it’s time to start preparing your garden for Fall and Winter, as well as start your planting and/or sowing for fall vegetables. Check out these guidelines:
• Replace all spent annuals
• Prepare soil for autumn planting
• Plant spring bulbs
• Rake and remove all fallen leaves
• Cut back the spent perennials / biennials
• Remove annuals damaged by frost
• Harvest all herb stems and roots
• Fertilize remaining plants as needed
• Sow seeds for succession planting
• Plant peonies, poppies and irises
• Add winter mulch, if needed
• Prepare bulbs for forcing and chill
• Divide and transplant perennials and ground covers
• Apply dormant fertilizer to trees, shrubs, ground covers and vines
• Plant and mulch hardy annuals for winter
• Plant bare-root trees, shrubs, ground covers and vines
• Transplant roses
• Plant bare-root roses
• In southern zones, stop watering to induce dormancy
Decorate for Fall
In addition to adding mums and container gardens throughout your yard, there are several other things you can do to decorate and beautify for Fall.
• Make an easy Autumn wreath for your front door
• Decorate your front porch and stairs with gourds and pumpkins
• Make a scarecrow
• Pick beautiful fall leaves and flowers, preserve them in glycerin for three days (two parts hot water to one part glycerin), then display in a beautiful cast iron pot or wicker basket on your front porch
• Fill an old children’s wagon with hay, pumpkins, gourds and leaves to display
• Tie dried corn husks from your front or back door
• Fill window boxes with mums and pumpkins
As you can see, there are so many ways to brighten up your yard and porch this Autumn. Do you have a great Autumn decorating idea we’ve missed? Please share it in our comments section!
One of the most fun ways to collect items to use in your Fall decorations is to take a long drive in the country to enjoy the beautiful Fall foliage, collecting items and produce from local farm stands and markets along the way.
Stop back by later this week for ideas about how to bring the beauty of Fall indoors!