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What to Plant in Late Fall

by Joe Cooper, All About Lawns Columnist

Fall planting projects can be a great way to give your yard a great facelift before the cold sets in. While some landscaping concerns (like high temperatures, bugs, and fast weed growth) will fade away with the seasonal change, others will creep up (like shorter days, cold temperatures, and frost). Here are some tips for keeping your yards healthy and beautiful before winter arrives.

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Planting During the Fall

A good first step is to talk to a gardener, landscaper, or local nursery manager for tips and recommendations on fall planting for your specific yard. They will help answer some key questions:

  • What are your goals? Are you looking for color, rich foliage, accents, or something else?
  • What is best for your yard?
  • What is your bandwidth for maintenance?

An expert can also help you identify what planting projects you can tackle yourself, and what's best to leave to them.

Top Three Lists for Fall Planting

These plants will stay hearty and healthy during the fall season:

  • Three Flowers for Fall
    Perennials are good choices for falling temperatures.
    • Mums
    • Sweet autumn clematis
    • Asters
  • Three Types of Fall Foliage
    These plants offer both sturdiness and aesthetics.
    • Fothergilla
    • Virginia sweetspire
    • Korean spice viburnum
  • Three Fall Trees
    Most trees can withstand greater temperature changes, but here are a few good fall choices.
    • River birch tree
    • Cornus florida dogwood tree
    • Overcup oak tree
  • Three Fall Vegetables
    Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach are great to plant during early fall, ten to twelve weeks before the first frost. For October and November, here are some safe options.
    • Garlic
    • Onions
    • Shallots

The most important thing about fall planting projects is to complete them before the first frost. These plants need time to settle in before the big temperature or precipitation change. If you live in a region with snowfall that comes early and often, you'll want to wrap up your planting by the end of October. If your region gets little to no snow, you have a few more weeks' time before letting your landscaping rest for the winter.

About the Author
Joe Cooper writes education, home services, and design articles, and manages corporate communications. He holds a bachelor's in American Literature from UCLA.

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