by Carol Siddall, Master Gardener
I love fall. It is probably my favorite season for more reasons than gardening. The cooler temperature is a welcomed relief to both humans and the garden.
Fall is far from a forgotten season. There are less insects, and there are weeks (sometimes) when our weather is pleasant and a relaxing time to be outside working in your garden or just sitting and enjoying it. Even in West Texas we do have some color changes in a few trees and shrubs.
This is a perfect time to deadhead your annuals, pinch back perennials, and maybe set out some new containers of chrysanthemums, asters, sedums, purple kale, and maybe even a pansy or two. The colors of annual and perennial flowers intensify with the cooler temperature. Coleus really comes to the front in beauty in the fall. Team their foliage with coordinated colors of mums. After your chrysanthemums have finished blooming, or after a frost, you can then plant them in the ground for next fall or leave in your container. Nothing says welcome to your home more than a container or two by the front door filled with fall colored flowers.
Fall is also a good time to revisit what did well and what did not. If you kept a journal like Debbie Roland wrote about a few weeks ago, this is the time to reread your journal. You need to take into consideration the temperature of the summer and how much rain we received. (Any garden does better with rain.) You can sit back, look your garden over, enjoy the fruits of your work, and say yes to some things you did and no to others. Fall lets you begin to slow down in the garden and gives you a time of rest. In a few months though, you will be ready to get your hands dirty in the soil again.
Enjoy the beautiful colors and plants of fall. There are some plants waiting with your name on them!