The weather’s getting colder and the trees are dropping leaves, but that’s no reason you can’t still garden. In this video (see video at the end of the article) by CentralTexasGardener, Trisha will be covering what kinds of plants are safe to plant in the fall and which you should wait on for warmer times.
The video points out that, unlike what many would assume, fall is actually a busy time for many gardeners. Temperature consistency and greater rainfall only help plant growth, and a lack of many irritating pest animals give things a better chance to grow.
There are actually several species of plants that thrive in the winter time, meaning fall planting is essential to having a crop come springtime. Among these plants are some surprisingly common foods, such as lettuce, greens, and turnips. Onions and garlic, too, are great to plant in the fall. Cilantro, turnips, kohlrabi, and kale are also great to plant at this time.
In terms of flowers, tulips and daffodils are great to plant in the fall, as are hyacinths and Dutch iris. Planting in the fall gives the roots extra time to take hold, and both tulips and hyacinths benefit from the cold come winter.
The video also points out that fall is the ideal time to separate perennial flowers for the next blooming season. It’s recommended that you take the time to move flowers around so that their roots aren’t too close together, as this can inhibit their ability to fully bloom and grow well. It’s also an ideal time to aerate the soil and add fertilizer as you move the plants around.
Trees and shrubs, too, can benefit from a fall planting. Due to the importance of strong root systems in these kinds of plants, the extra time prior to sprouting before ideal growing temperatures in the spring and summer gives them the help needed to plant themselves firmly in the ground. Any sort of trees will work, but ones that change color during the fall months are ideal, as they’ll be grown enough to let you experience their dazzling colors next year.
More delicate flowers including perennials should be left for the spring, as the colder temperatures heading into winter could kill them even before sprouting. Both the cold and the moisture during these seasons can quickly cause root rot to take hold without careful monitoring, meaning it’s simply much easier to wait for warmth to come when planting these kinds of flowers. Following this, though, they should be able to stand up to winter just fine.
No matter when you plant or what kind of plant you work with, the video recommends that all gardeners mulch their plants, both with compost and wood mulch, during the fall. Mulching during warmer weather gives the mulch more time to take effect on the plants it’s used on, and provides layers of insulation to help seeds and roots survive the winter. Winter peas, Elbon rye, and vetch work great as cover crops meant to grow in winter while simultaneously protecting your seeds and their roots during the cold, especially if you plan to grow less in the fall or want to reduce your garden space.
Cover crops can also help protect against winter weeds from taking hold. Mowing the lawn during winter can be beneficial, too, as it provides extra layers of material that improve water retention and trap heat. Grass clippings can also be collected and used in compost with fallen leaves, as well.