Cooler days are ahead making this the perfect time to plan and plant your garden for the fall. 

As the summer plants fade, your can fill your garden with new plants suited to the cooler season. And whether you prefer blooms, vegetables or a combination of both, you can begin planting flowers and vegetables that will blossom with color throughout the fall.

Prepare your garden

To prepare for new growth, start by clearing weeds and debris and pruning summer’s fading plants. Refuel the soil with nutrients by adding compost and top with mulch to prevent new weeds.

Plant color

As temperatures cool, many flowers with thrive with brilliant color. Deadhead the fading flowers and fill those spaces with perennials like color-rich asters and cornflowers and annuals like petunias, marigolds, zinnias and celosia. Ornamental cabbage and kale also grow well in cooler months.

As a ground cover, a filler or in containers, consider the Texas superstar plant called the Little Ruby Alternanthera. This hardy plant thrives in full sun or partial shade.

Sow wildflowers for next spring

Native wildflowers will not bloom this autumn, but planting in the late autumn is the perfect time if you want butterflies and bluebonnets next year. Plan your wildflower plot now and explore native seed options. The Wildflower Center is a great source for native plant information, seeds and inspiration. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – The Botanic Garden of Texas

Harvest autumn vegetables

We have months of excellent vegetable harvest before the first freeze making autumn the ideal time for growing food. At the end of August, you can sow seeds like carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, kale, and cabbage. And as it gets cooler leave space for broccoli, squash, beans, and root vegetables. A full list of vegetable options and the best times to plant can be found here.