PhotoYour garden may soon be bidding adieu to summer temperatures, but it doesn’t have to go dormant. Many plants will continue to grow happily during the colder months.

For gardeners, this means gardening season is far from over. In addition to selecting Fall-friendly plant varieties, gardeners can prepare their gardens for cooler temperatures by cleaning them out.

Start by cleaning out weeds, plant debris, and plants that likely won’t survive in colder temperatures. If you can’t bear to permanently part ways with your sensitive plants, consider placing them in a sunny area of your house to continue growing indoors.

To smooth the summer-to-fall transition for vegetable gardens, try using row covers and cold frames. For added protection, gardeners can plant a cover crop on top of their vegetable garden.

Autumn plants

Colder weather doesn’t have to equate to a less colorful garden. Some plants are as bright and cheery as they are hardy. Here are some of the plants and flowers known to be capable of thriving during the fall and winter.

  • Asters. Vibrant New England Asters tend to start showing off around mid-September. While they can be planted at any time, it’s best to plant these butterfly-attracting plants no later than early fall. This can help ensure they have enough time to establish themselves before winter.
  • Coleus. The beautiful fall colors of Coleus leaves can brighten shady spots in your garden. This flowerless, shade-loving plant can be put in the ground after the danger of frost has passed.
  • Mums. With the arrival of fall comes an influx of garden mums at nurseries and garden centers. Plant these orange, gold, or bronze beauties in the spring to enjoy them in your garden when the temperatures drop.
  • Mexican Sage. Mexican bush sage begins to sprout its purple flowers in September and continues to bloom until frost. Plant them in full sun and in well-drained soil.
  • Pansies. Pansies are the perfect addition to a fall garden, window box, or container. Their bright, velvety blooms will last through the winter. To keep them growing into the summer, mulch and remove faded flowers.

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