Fall officially arrived in North Texas last Thursday. This week, our temperatures are coming down, so people are thinking about getting out and adding color to their lawns (this time of year, most flower beds and borders are beginning to look tired from our long hot summer.)
It might seem counterintuitive, but fall is one of the best times to start a new landscape because your soil is still warm while our temperatures cool. This weather pattern means your plants lose less moisture through their leaves, leading to strong root growth and, in the long run, a healthier plant.
Fall is also a great time to introduce color to your yard. Our local nurseries, grocery, and hardware stores have a plentiful supply of colorful plants, and many local churches host pumpkin patches.
Here are a few of our favorites if you want to introduce some color to prepare your home for fall.
Pansies: In North Texas, if you want colorful blooms over the colder months, your go-to flower is pansies. This hardy plant can weather our crazy winters with single-digit temperatures and wintry precipitation one day and sunny weather a few days later. They can bounce back and bloom after the coldest of spells with a bit of sunshine. They will do their best with a high phosphorous fertilizer (5-30-5 ratio.) Like most flowers, they prefer loose, well-drained soil so they don’t stay wet after watering. An easy way to accomplish that is to add potting soil to the bed. Pansies are like candy to rabbits, so if you have a large population in your area, it may be challenging to grow them.
Violas: They have pansy-like blooms, except the blooms are tiny. You can plant these in similar conditions to pansies.
Mums: These are lovely fall plants. Like azaleas, they only bloom a few weeks out of the year, but when they bloom, they look great, especially with pumpkins.
Kale & Cabbage: Oddly enough, if you have rabbit problems, you are safe planting kale or cabbage. Rabbits would rather eat your pansies versus eating your vegetables! They aren’t as colorful as pansies but easy to grow. Trim off the blooms to make them look nice later in the spring.
Cyclamen: These are beautiful, delicate flowers, but our North Texas winters can be too harsh for them. I recommend planting a few for a nice change of color on your lawn or landscape.
Pumpkins & Gourds: An easy way to introduce a burst of color is by purchasing some pumpkins or gourds at a local pumpkin patch (a lot of local churches help raise money for their ongoing charity efforts by operating pumpkin patches at this time of year.)
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