Planting Fall Colors & Veggies

Believe it or not, the season will turn to fall pretty soon. And while we’re still sweltering with 95+ degree heat, the days are getting shorter and temperatures will lower to a more tolerable level in the next several weeks.

What do these weather changes mean for your outdoor plants? Here are some planting tips for fall to enjoy some fresh colors in your yard and even fresher veggies in your garden.

Watering is still very important during September. You can reduce the frequency of watering when the temperature drops below 90, but continue to water deeply. Your grass and plants still need help to beat the heat.

To brighten up your planters and yard beds now is the perfect time to plant petunias, crotons, and dianthus. Snapdragons add height and come in a wide variety of colors. They will also help attract the migrating hummingbirds, as will petunias. Mums are a must in September and October with their traditional fall colors of yellow, orange and red. Most will last until December or later with proper care.

If you’re a true Texan (or a true Texan at heart), show off your state pride by planting the native flower, Drummond’s Phlox. This beautiful bloom grows in clusters and the center of each blossom has a white star-shaped almost like the star of Texas. These plants require a little extra TLC, as their blooms need to be deadheaded to prolong their blooming period and pinching back to promote branching out. Phlox grows best in full sun.

If you’re looking for longevity in your annuals, go with primrose. Some varieties can tolerate temperatures well below freezing and they do well in shady spots. You may have to wait a little bit longer to plant this one, as it does best from November through May.

When it comes to vegetables in your garden, now is the tail-end of when you can plant tomatoes and bell peppers. Cruciferous veggies like cauliflower and broccoli, along with cabbage, kale and lettuce can go in the ground later this month and will last through the winter.