Fall is the season for raking leaves and harvesting the last of the summer's crops. Flowers fade and plants begin to prepare themselves for the winter months. However, that does not mean that the autumn season is the season for gardeners to hang up their gloves. There is an abundant supply of projects that autumn gardeners can tackle. From creating new and colorful flower beds to preparing for the oncoming spring, fall is a time of creativity, hardy plants and preparing for future gardening landscapes.
Early Spring Bulb Beds
The University of Illinois Extension states that fall is the prime time to plant hardy spring-flowering bulbs. "Most bulbs can be planted until the ground is frozen," their website states. Bulbs need well-drained soil as well as high phosphorus content. Add peat moss, compost or other organic material to the soil as well as bone meal or other source of phosphorus before planting bulbs. Once you have planted the bulbs, you can cover them with mulch to protect the bulbs from freezing over the winter. Some common bulbs to plant in the fall include tulips, daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths.
Autumn Flower Garden
Although fall is not associated with an abundant supply of flowers, there are some flowers that can be used to enhance the garden during this transitional month. Flowers that can be used in the fall include chrysanthemums, pansies, Calendula (also known as pot marigold), larkspur and even snapdragons. Chrysanthemums and pansies can be cut back after the first frost and stored until spring, when they will bloom again. Other fall flowers like pot marigold may drop seeds that will produce plants in the spring as well. However, annuals such as snapdragons will die back after the first heavy frost. Use these flowers to enhance the garden or plant them in pots and scatter throughout the landscape.
In addition to fall flowers, many vegetables better in the cool autumn season. North Carolina State University (NCSU) states that planting a fall garden will extend the gardening season. After the traditional tomato and squash plants of the summer have given out, you can turn to cool weather favorites such as carrots, kale and broccoli. "The fall harvest can be extended even further by providing protection from early frosts or by planting in cold frames or hotbeds," NCSU states. Some common fall vegetables include asparagus, onions, radishes, turnips and spinach.