The Easy Way: Plant Mums and Pansies
Include Natives in Your Plan
Provide a Healthy Home
Feed Your Flowers Regularly
Water as Needed
As the heat of summer subsides, leaving your yard looking a little brown, it's time to brighten up your garden by planting some fall flowers. When most people think of fall flowers, pansies and mums come to mind. But other flowers are just as effective for providing a beautiful look. For the most striking effect, plan your plantings to create a mass of color with one dominant hue or a combination of compatible shades.
Mums and pansies are favorite standbys as fall flowers, with good reason. They look great, they can grow almost anywhere in the country, and they're usually easy to find at garden centers. You can group them in planters or flower beds, and they'll add color long after your perennials go dormant. But, if you want to try a different look, the next paragraph is for you.
You can greatly enhance your fall garden by choosing plants native to your region. Some good choices include California poppy in the West, blackfoot daisy in the Southwest, big leaf aster in the Southeast, and New England aster or boltonia in the Northeast and Midwest.
Whether you choose mums and pansies or try your hand with local native flowers, you'll get the best results if give them a good environment for growing. For in-ground garden plantings, that means incorporating plenty of organic matter by adding soil amendments or Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Flowers & Vegetables to your native soil. Follow spacing and planting directions on the plant tags. For container gardens, use a specialized potting medium such as Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix or Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control™ Potting Mix.
Even though summer's heat has passed, you may still need to water your flowers frequently if you live in the Southwest or a coastal region with warm winters and sandy soil. In areas such as the Northeast and Midwest, fall usually brings plenty of rain, but be sure to check the soil and water as necessary to provide your plants a steady supply of moisture.
Your fall flowers will produce more blooms for a longer period if you remove flowers that have faded and started turning brown. Called deadheading, this cleanup is easily accomplished and well worth the little bit of time it takes.