BRANDPOINT — The changing season offers a new opportunity to grow fall-friendly plants. Gardening is a great way to decorate your space with beautiful blooms, grow fresh vegetables that produce delicious cool season harvests, and is a safe, healthy activity to engage in while practicing social distancing and enjoying the outdoors. Whether you have a small patio, high-rise rooftop, quaint sunny corner of your yard or even a balcony, the experts at Ball Horticultural Company share their fall gardening insights for growing a successful and stunning garden this season.
Prepare for planting
If you have plants that have matured from the summer gardening season, it's time to clean up to prepare for new growth. Remove surface plants and use a tiller or hand tools to remove root matter under the soil. Add compost or gardening soil to pots, window boxes and other garden spaces, so they are ready with rich nutrients to support fall plant growth. If you've grown hardy perennials, just a brief tidy-up is needed. Clip away any brown foliage or spent flowers and provide a light covering of mulch at the base of the plant to ready them for frosty temperatures.
Embrace fall hues
Rich reds, vivid oranges and happy yellows are traditional autumnal hues that add energy to your gardens as temperatures turn. A classic coneflower and pollinator favorite, like the Sombrero Echinacea from Darwin Perennials, will brighten your space even as temperatures fall. Available in a variety of colors, Sombrero Baja Burgundy and Fiesta Orange are ideal for bringing vibrant fall color to sunny spaces and for attracting bees, songbirds and butterflies to your yard. Tip: Leave the older blooms of Echinacea on their stems to feed wildlife into the winter. Then cut them back after their feast to put new energy into the plant for spring.
Flowers that thrive
Another colorful and easy care option are Cool Wave Pansies, a fast-growing, long-lasting trailing pansy available in a variety of bold colors perfect for revamping your outdoor space for fall. A cool-season gardener's dream, you can feel confident that these blooms will thrive even as fall temperatures ebb and flow. Check out Cool Wave Raspberry Swirl with cheerful magenta and white petals and a delightful yellow center. Tip: Place your Cool Wave Pansies where you've also planted bulbs. Their hardiness will make them the first pansy to reappear next spring for two seasons of enjoyment.
Enjoy homegrown vegetables
In addition to adding style to your space with fall flowers, incorporate seasonal vegetables to enjoy fresh, healthy produce straight from your backyard or patio. Burpee Sweet Thang Cabbage adds beauty to any garden with its attractive dark green leaves. A touch sweeter than collards or kale, this non-heading cabbage delivers a delicious bite to round out autumn dishes.
A wonderful option for full-sun gardens is Bright Lights Swiss Chard, a stunning All-America Selections-winning mix that produces delicious, mildly flavored stems in a rainbow of colors - including yellow, gold, orange, pink, violet, green, white, red and even striped! Tip: Harvest the tender bronze to dark green leaves young to enjoy in salads or eat like spinach or beet greens.
There are many plants that thrive in the fall weather, adding style and life to your outdoor space to enjoy for many months. For more tips and gardening ideas, visit burpeehomegardens.com and wavegardening.com.