As summer fades and fall begins, many plants whither and harvest feasts abound. But that doesn't mean your garden needs to hibernate before the snowfall. Many plants come into their full glory the same time that the trees are crowned in flaming colors.
"Fall is a wonderful time to plant most any perennial flower, shrub, or tree," says Park City Nursery owner Sophy Kohler. "New fall plantings don't require as much water as the temperatures begin to cool, and will go dormant until spring after a snow cover." To ensure fall plantings get well established before winter, add some compost at planting time and don't forget to water until there's a good snow cover.
Here are Kohler's recommendations for fall planting.
May isn't the only time for flowers as many perennials thrive through late summer and fall. Some of Kohler’s favorite colorful blooms for this time of year include Echinacea, and Rudbeckia hirta (a.k.a. black-eyed Susan), Crocosmia, Russian Sage, Veronica, Yarrow, Sedum, honeysuckle, hops, and trumpet vines.
Add some curb-appeal to your garden with eye-catching fall shrubs. Kohler suggests any varieties that produce beautiful berries or bright fall foliage, such as Serviceberry and Sycamore. Shrubs are great for anyone who wants a low-maintenance, easy-growing plant with a payout.
If you want to contribute to the fireworks of autumn color, trees and tree clumps are the way to go. According to Kohler, "Maples and Canada Red Chokecherry give interesting autumn colors, while varieties of Ash have showy and bright berry clusters." Some of the most rewarding trees are, of course, fall fruit, such as apple, pear, and crabapple.
And remember: autumn (before the ground freezes) is also the best time to plant bulbs, such as daffodils, hyacinth, tulips, and garlic for spring harvest. Now is also an excellent time to spread wildflower seeds for next year's blooms.
For more planting suggestions and help honing your green thumb any time of year, check out Park City Nursery.