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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Get Inspired with Fall Gardening Trends

Renee Valdes
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Fall trends for gardening

Get excited about upcoming autumn days with a look ahead to fall gardening trends.

Get inspired for fall with these trends for your indoor and outdoor gardens, whether you plant in flowerpots, window boxes, hanging baskets or raised garden beds. Or perhaps you garden vertically or in a small space.

What’s driving many fall gardening trends is the overarching desire to extend the season outdoors. People want to create relaxing spaces for entertaining and downtime.

While there’s the trend of extending indoor spaces outside, there’s also the reverse. There’s the trend of bringing outdoor elements inside with rugs, plants, pots and more.  

These trends go along with making your home a sanctuary, as part of the movement for wellness and cozy living. In this digital age, the home is more of a relaxing space to turn everything off. That means you can garden anywhere, wherever you are.

Fall Gardening Trends

Stretch your gardening dollars in the landscape

1. Color inside and out

When summer’s sizzle gives way to cooler temperatures, it’s time to revamp and refresh gardens and planters with a fresh fall look. For this season’s fall gardening trends, colorful garden plants and flowers and trees and shrubs will take center stage.

In late summer to fall, there’s no shortage of opportunities for color. Give warm colors such as chili red or ginger peach a try, alongside dramatic leafy foliage with lots of bright colors (see the next trend below). These are the backdrop to your patio furniture, outdoor rugs, patio pillows, lanterns, fire pit sets and other outdoor accessories.

Consider gardening with colorful flowers and foliage that can take you from the heat of August and well into fall. Options include pansies, mums, ornamental peppers, coleus and late season perennials, including coneflower, black-eyed Susan, gaillardia and aster.  

Fall is a great time to plant trees and shrubs so they have time to establish root systems before winter.

Planters, too, become part of the decor. Consider planters in eye-catching colors, or warm, neutral planters in wood and concrete that are texturally pleasing. When filled with plants, these help create a relaxing feel inside and outside a home.  

Coleus in the garden

2. foliage gardens

With many new varieties of foliage, including annual coleus (shown above), gardens can be as bright, colorful and impressive as flower gardens.  

Foliage helps give shady patches in the garden some exuberance. Try perennial foliage favorites such as hosta and heuchera.  

Red spirea

3. small Flowering shrubs

Whether the area where you garden is in a small or large space, small “dwarf” flowering shrubs are in. From fragrant roses and camellias to colorful spirea (shown above) and vibernum, to the trendy, Instagram-friendly lilac.

Fall is the best time to plant shrubs. Shrubs with flowers offer so much with their blooms, foliage interest, privacy for birds and winter interest. Some are even fragrant, such as vibernum, sweetspire, honeysuckle and lilac. Check out more shrubs that burst with blooms.

Shrubs appreciate the warm soil temperatures of late summer and fall to establish root systems, even as air temperatures grow cooler. 

When planting shrubs, dig a wide, shallow hole, rather than a deep hole. Most shrubs grow roots through the top 12 to 18 inches of soil, but those roots will spread horizontally beyond the plant’s canopy. There’s no need to amend the soil in the planting hole. Instead, blanket with mulch and top dress with compost to nourish the plant through winter. 

Compost bin

4. living sustainably 

The growing trend of living sustainably has created more awareness around composting at home. This has given rise to a greater number of collection services for those who wish to do their part for the environment but don’t have time to manage the process themselves.

At home, start with a compost bin on your countertop and in your yard. Get information about how to compost at home.

For pick-up programs, including some with monthly fees, providers pick-up food scraps each week and, in return, users get bags of nutrient-rich compost.

Compost is used to amend garden soil for a nutritional boost. 

Composting helps reduce household waste streams by 60 percent and helps protect the environment by sending fewer food scraps to landfills. Do your part by composting at home or seeking out and connecting with one of these programs.

Intercropping with nasturtiums and tomatoes

5. Intercropping

Intercropping means bunching plants together as natural companions to provide a line of defense against pests, disease and weeds in your organic vegetable garden.

Adding herb plants to your vegetable garden, for example, can be a major line of defense against pests. Many herbs can mask the scent of delicious veggie counterparts, such as lavender planted with broccoli and cabbage. 

Consider these natural companions:

  • Squash with nasturtiums and radish  
  • Beans with corn, potatoes, beets, carrots, cucumbers, summer savory, marigolds and strawberries 
  • Chard with root crops, lettuce, radish, celery and mint 
  • Broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and collards with thyme, potatoes, dill, chamomile, beets, onion, rosemary, sage, oregano and peppermint
  • Corn with beans, potatoes, cucumbers, pumpkin, squash, melons and marigolds
  • Cucumbers with radish, okra, beans, corn and peas
  • Lettuce with carrots, radish, strawberries and cucumber
  • Sweet peppers with basil and okra
  • Tomato with asparagus, marigold, nasturtium, chives, onion, parsley, garlic, roses and bee balm
  • Fruit trees with garlic, bulbs, chives, borage, nasturtiums, columbine and daylilies

Moon phases and how it affects gardening

6. Gardening by Phases of the Moon

For many moons, Incas and Native Americans have gardened by lunar phases. Though it’s an ancient practice, it’s now trendy to use the gravitational pull of the moon for planting.  

In general, above-ground crops do best when planted during and between the new and full moon phases, according to the Farmers Almanac. That’s when the moisture in the soil is being pulled up. After the full moon, it’s best to do tasks in the garden instead of planting. 

Here’s how lunar phase gardening works:

  • New moon: Though the moon is not visible, it starts a new 30-day orbit cycle. During this phase is the best time to sow seeds or transplant leafy annuals such as lettuce, spinach, cabbage and celery.
  • First quarter moon: As the moon grows in illumination, you’ll begin to see half of the moon. During this time, plant annual fruits and foods with external seeds, such as tomatoes, pumpkins, broccoli and beans.
  • Full moon: Just when the moon’s gravitational pull is at its strongest, during this phase, moisture in the soil rises. It’s a perfect time to plant bulbs and root vegetables such as beets, turnips, potatoes and rhubarb because root development during this phase is at its strongest. It’s also a great time to plant fruit, such as apple trees. 
  • Last quarter moon: During this phase, avoid planting and instead add mulch anything that includes improving the soil, such as adding compost, as well as pull weeds. It’s also a great time to prune and fertilize lawns and feed plants. Read about the top lawn care questions and answers. Find out how to prep for fall gardening.

Houseplants in an office

7. Taking Houseplants to Work

Because we spend so much time at work, it’s no wonder it’s now trendy to use plants to create beautifully decorated spaces and look for ways to create a sense of calm.

Taking houseplants to work made the trends list because workers want their work spaces to reflect their personalities and decorating style. Houseplants also bring plenty of fringe benefits from increased oxygen to purifying the air. Read more about the benefits of houseplants. Get a list of trendy indoor plants for your home.


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