Fall gardens have a lot to offer in terms of color, edible vegetation and simplicity. You can harvest vegetables from a fall garden or enjoy a profusion of color from a fall flower garden. For beauty without maintenance, consider planting ornamental grasses that flourish in the cool temperatures of fall.
Fall Vegetable Garden
Carrots, snap peas, snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower and beets are a few of the vegetables you can plan to harvest in the cool days of fall. Most of these hardy vegetable plants take approximately 60 days from the time you plant the seeds to when you can harvest your crop. Begin by sowing seeds in nutrient rich soil from the end of August forward, depending on your climate. Some vegetables, such as slow germinating parsnips, do very well if you plant them in the late fall and leave them in the ground over the winter for an early spring harvest.
Fall Flower Garden
A fall flower garden can include colorful chrysanthemums, aster, goldenrod, pansies and hellebores. All of these perennials are considered hardy in zones 5 through 8. You can start seeds during the mid-summer in a dark place with cool temperatures, like the basement or cellar. The plants should be large enough to transplant into your fall garden within 8 to 10 weeks. You could also visit your local nursery and pick up mature plants during the early fall, and then transplant them into your garden.
Fall Ornamental Grass Garden
Select cool season ornamental grasses for easy-to-grow and easy-to-maintain fall color in your garden. Blue fescue and feather reed grass prefer temperatures from just above freezing to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool season ornamental grasses enjoy new growth in the spring, stop growing in the heat of the summer, and then continue to thrive when the weather turns cool in the fall. Look for clump growing ornamental grasses for easier maintenance; other types will spread and some, like ribbon grass, will take over any garden. Once your ornamental grasses are established, they need no fertilizer, pruning or coddling of any kind.