When we say Fall, most people think about leaves turning colors, a warm fire and breaking out the jackets. Fall gardening and Florida may both start with an F, but it seems like that’s all the two have in common.
Fall weather is not exactly compatible with the year round warmth Floridians get to enjoy. But just because Florida doesn’t get super cold doesn’t mean you can’t experience the best parts of Autumn. Here are some Fall gardening tips to help you get that Fall feeling. Because who says you can’t have it all?
Fall Gardening Tips to Maximize Fall Colors
Before we get into the specifics of what you can plant in your garden, here are some important tips to prepare your gardening beds for the best blooms.
Prepare the Soil
Plants need organic matter to really thrive. So make sure you’ve mixed in compost, manure or other organics to help your garden get those Fall blooms. Replenishing nutrients is especially important if you’ve already been gardening through spring and summer.
Get Some Fertilizer
Plants grow better if they have food. Choose a slow release fertilizer and sprinkle some on your plants every few weeks. You’ll be amazed at how fast and healthy your garden can grow with a little help.
Set Up An Irrigation System
Winter is dry season in Florida, making a regular watering schedule vital for your plants. If hand watering every day isn’t going to cut it, consider setting up an automatic watering system.
Prune Old Plants
Trim off the dead and droopy growth from the plants you already have. This prepares them to bloom for you again during the winter and adds more color to your garden.
Once you have your gardening area prepared, it’s time to add in some Fall colors! Here are some plants that do well in Florida’s climate.
Plants to Help You Get That Fall Feeling
Not all plants thrive in warmer climates. If you want to create a garden display you can enjoy for months, make sure you choose your plants carefully. Here are some suggestions on plants that do well in Central Florida.
Choose a Tree
When we think of red trees, the popular Japanese Maple may come to mind. Although these trees can give off a brilliant red, they may not be best suited for Florida’s warmer weather. These tender trees can experience leaf scorch if it gets too hot.
A better alternative is to go with native trees. Look for a Red Maple, which can be found throughout the state and loves wet areas. During spring, Red Maples even bloom so you can enjoy their red flowers.
Another native tree is the Florida Maple. These trees provide wonderful yellow and orange hues to help complete that fall feeling.
Plant Some Annuals
If trees are too much of a commitment, you can always plant some annuals. That way, you can change the colors of your garden with the seasons. Here are some plants to consider.
Snapdragons grow between 6 inches up to 3 feet tall. They prefer full sun but will live in dappled shade. Plant them in groups so the Fall colors pop, even at a distance!
Pansies are cold tolerant so you can enjoy them even when temperatures dip. They are available in yellow and apricot to support Fall themes. But if you want to add more variation to your garden, pansies are a variety of other colors too.
These marigolds have large flowers and bloom again and again until it freezes. They can grow up to 2 feet tall but also do well in a container, so go ahead and bring your Fall colors indoors.
Fire Spikes are a wonderful addition to Fall gardening because they offer a bright red color. These plants can grow up to 4 feet tall and prefer full sun.
Mums are a wonderful yellow or orange, making them perfect for any Fall garden theme. These plants are actually perennials that can keep blooming for years. They are typically 6 inches to 2 feet tall, love the sun and are cold hardy. A big bonus is that mums attract butterflies too!
All of the plants I’ve listed are easy to grow and should be readily available at your local nurseries. I hope these gardening tips and list of plants can help you get into that Fall feeling!
What do you guys think about Fall gardening? Tell us in the comments below!