Fall Flowers: What to Plant
Sweater weather, football, and all things fall are here. Shorter days and cooler temperatures mean it is time to replace the fading summer flowers with colorful fall flowers. Getting a late start to planting? There is still time!
When to plant
Planting them at the correct time is critical for the best result. Too early and they are susceptible to the heat, but too late and they will not have the appropriate time to mature before the onset of winter. For central and north Alabama we recommend October 15th – October 31st.
Give the plants their best chance by properly preparing your flower bed. Bed preparation begins with the removal of all summer plants, including their roots, and old mulch. Make sure your beds are raised and well drained. Many annual flowers have trouble with root diseases that are brought on by poorly drained soil, so eliminate that issue by adding compost and topsoil to help improve elevation and drainage. Till the bed to a depth of 6-8 inches incorporating any new amendments. Make sure you mark all irrigation heads before you begin tilling or it could result in damage of unseen irrigation heads. Spread a slow release fertilizer onto you bed surface and rake lightly to mix.
What to plant
Consult with your local nursery on the best varieties of flowers available for your area. Some of the staples for cold weather planting are garden mums, pansies, marigolds, violas, and ornamental cabbages. All of these plants come in a variety of colors. Make sure to plant according to the specific directions; overcrowding, over or under watering can cause plants to die.
How to tend to them
You now have a beautiful landscape of fall colors, and it is time to keep them alive. Here are a few starting points:
- Start with a good base; plants will not survive long with improper bed preparation. See the above section on preparation.
- Ensure you are watering your plants. Just because it is not 95 degrees outside does not mean plants need any less water. In fact, properly watered soil keeps plants’ roots warmer than dry soil.
- If there’s a high chance for a heavy frost or snow, put a bed sheet or tarp over the flowers to protect them from direct contact with the cold condensation. Be sure to remove the protection as temperatures begin to rise again.
If all of the above sounds like a few too many steps for your busy schedule, give the Wayne’s Team a call at (866) 929-6371 for more information on how we can help achieve the landscaping look you are looking for. Landscapes flourish in our care callwaynes.com/landscape-services