Ten ideas to refresh your garden for fall

From a border of purple pansies to overflowing containers of vivid chrysanthemums, nothing says fall like the brilliant hues of autumn.

Labor Day generally signals the start of the fall season and late summer is a great time to consider installing the season’s most beloved plants.

When thinking about transitioning your garden, it is always a good idea to plan what you are going to do. Or as a Chinese philosopher once said, “If you are thinking a year ahead, sow a seed. If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree.”

The end of summer can often be a tough time for your landscape. But it can also be an opportunity to start your garden over again and invest in professionally designed and staged landscape displays to showcase focal points and wow your family and guests during the upcoming year-end holidays.

Fall Checklist:
1. Plant groundcovers and bright blooming fall-flowering perennials such as asters, marigolds, salvia, rain lilies and chrysanthemums. Mums in particular thrive in North Texas and perform well in full sun. They flourish in containers, borders and rock gardens.

2. Pansies are one of our most popular flowers and their whimsical “faces” make them a perfect addition to your fall garden.

3. If organically grown vegetables are on your list, turn to cool-weather crops for your favorite fall meals and plant beans, cabbage, eggplant, onions, potatoes, squash, garlic, carrots, and parsley. Keep them adequately watered and shaded from hot mid-day sun.

4. Plant figs. The easy-to-grow Brown Turkey variety adapts well to containers and the fruit will be ripe for picking and eating next summer.

5. Lightly prune woody trees and shrubs but save major pruning for when they are dormant.

6. Remove spent flowers of perennials to encourage new blooms.

7. Trim leggy annuals and fertilize with easily absorbed organic-based products to encourage continued flowering and avoid burning the roots.

8. Watch for foliar disease and fungal infestations and treat with organic applications.

9. Protect ornamental trees for borers and be on the alert for cinch bugs in your St. Augustine. If treatment is necessary, rely on non-toxic organic applications for a safe, healthy alternative to harsh pesticides.

10. Mulch with organic compost or other naturally derived products to keep your beds and planter soil nourished and hydrated during the transition from hot to cool, and prevent weeds.

Jud Griggs, lamberts.net

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