I think I could shout this from the rooftops for the rest of my days and there will still be so many people missing out on the most enjoyable gardening season of all: fall.
So, here it is: there are many hardy annuals that can be planted in the fall that will thrive through our winters as baby plants to become your first bloomers the following spring. Most of us are familiar with pansies; well, there are many other plants with those same tendencies. We call them hardy annuals. Some of these hardy annuals prefer to have their seeds cast directly on the ground and others should be started indoors and planted outside as a transplant. So if pansies survive your winter, you can plant other seeds and plants in the fall just like we do.
Why plant in the fall? Planting in the fall allows the plant to establish a strong, deep root system during winter before having to produce top growth and flowers. This time of becoming well established gives your plants the rock foundation they need to stand on next spring and well into summer. These hardy annuals prefer cooler conditions, but when well established from fall planting they go right into summer blooming because they are so strong and healthy.
These are not fussy plants that need special treatment. You will be delighted in early spring when the first blooms appear.
(Click on the flower name to see photos)
Flowers that prefer to have their seeds cast directly on the ground:
Flowers that prefer to be started indoors and transplanted out in fall (Want to learn more about seed starting indoors? Click here):
Flowers that can either be started indoors to transplant out or the seeds can be cast directly in the garden. We always choose to start indoors if given a choice. There is less weed pressure and surer success.
Sweet Peas, Royal Mix, High Scent, Knee Hi
Rudbeckia, Indian Summer, Double Daisy, Goldilocks, Prairie Sun, Irish Eyes
During those dog days of late August and early September, we will be indoors starting the seeds of all those flowers that will go to the garden as plants in October. We plant our seeds in the garden when true fall-like conditions exist, cool nights (55-65 degrees) and warm days. If you plant seeds outdoors too early and the days are still scorchers, seeds will take longer to sprout, you won’t have as many seeds sprout and the seedlings will not be as hardy.
Note: Fall is also the best time to prepare soil and plant perennials, shrubs and trees. Click here to see how to improve your soil
You can garden with us in the fall, when it is cool and pleasurable to be outdoors! To read more click here.