Best Choices For Fall Planting

Autumn is not the time to simply allow your garden to die away.  In fact, several types of plants do very well as fall plantings, especially when you add fertilizer. Enjoy the cooler weather while tending the following plants come autumn.


Perennial plants with large root balls can easily be planted in the autumn. They give you a burst of fall color, lay dormant during the winter and come back beautiful in the spring. Planting them in fall affords you the opportunity to concentrate on annuals come spring. The following perennials are good options for fall planting:

  • Spike speedwell: This frost-tolerant flower blooms red, blue or white spiky flowers.
  • Yarrow: Yarrow is a medicinal herb that produces tiny flowers and does well even in cold climates.
  • Daylily: Vigorous growers yet beautiful, daylilies thrive with little attention.
  • New England aster: Another beautiful but hardy flower, New England asters thrive even in the Northern United States and southern Canada.


If you didn't get around to planting vegetables last spring, there's still time for certain varieties. Some like the cool weather, some have natural protection and some mature fast enough to get in a good harvest before the frost hits:

  • Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale appreciate cooler temperatures.
  • Carrots, radishes, potatoes, kohlrabi and rutabagas are renowned for being frost-tolerant.
  • Lettuce, spinach and Swiss chard mature fast enough that they'll yield a harvest after a late planting.

When planting vegetables later in the season, plant them in cold frames, which shield them from the elements while still affording them the light and water they need to thrive.


Turfgrass is the hardy soul of grasses. In fact, turfgrass establishes especially well in cooler autumn temperatures. Bluegrass, ryegrass and fescue need to be fertilized twice in the autumn for those living in cooler climates. This gives them the boost they need to flourish come spring. For more information on fertilizer, contact Fertilawn.


Pansy roots appreciate warm soil for getting a foothold. Plant them in autumn before the first frost hits. Because their roots become established you get to enjoy them right away and again come spring.

Pansies can overwinter as far north as southern Canada. These surprisingly hardy flowers can last as much as eight months. In fact, when planted in fall, they're especially robust the following spring.


Autumn is the time to have a shrub-line installed. Just like with pansies, their roots appreciate the warm soil to get established. Hardy evergreens such as juniper, box and holly thrive in the cooler weather – and stay beautiful even in the cold winter months.

After your shrub-line has been planted, keep them well-watered until the first frost hits. They'll go dormant during the winter, but the watering ensures they get the hydration they need to thrive come spring.

When cool weather approaches, continue enjoying your time gardening outdoors. Several plants are cold-tolerant, while others actually prefer cool air. Consult your local landscaping company for the best options to plant in your hardiness zone.