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Smart Gardening Tips For Early Fall

Hello, Decoist Readers! Kate here, and I wanted to share some snapshots from my yard, taken at the end of last week as I finished preparing the outdoor space for fall. While my garden isn’t one filled with fruits and veggies, it is filled with plants. And it takes a lot of work to keep plants healthy, especially as one season turns into another. In early fall, I like to size up my front and backyards, clearing out weeds and dead plants, then adding some new touches before the weather turns cold. I’ve filled this post with gardening tips that can help you celebrate your outdoor space.

Fall yard montage Smart Gardening Tips For Early Fall
Snapshots from a yard in early fall

Signs of the New Season

As summer transitions to fall, I can’t help but notice signs of the new season. Not only do these changes inspire us to spruce up the yard (lots of cool evenings on the patio are in my future and I want to enjoy them to the fullest), they also draw attention to the areas that are in need of work. For starters, we had some dead tree branches that needed to be cleared out. At the beginning of last week, this task was completed, contributing to my need to raise the bar.

Fall sunlight Smart Gardening Tips For Early Fall
Fall sunlight on a warm morning

Plus, last month my dear mom-in-law gave us this beautiful succulent centerpiece for our outdoor table. It’s so lush and vibrant–I wanted the rest of my yard to be just as enticing and well maintained:

Green planter filled with succulents
A green planter filled with succulents

Add new blooms, such as the spiky blossoms found on this loropetalum bush, and it became clear that the beauty of the yard would really shine if I cleaned up some of the mess!

Loropetalum in bloom
Loropetalum in bloom

Do you ever get ready to clean and organize by reminding yourself of past projects that you’re proud of?! To me, this is the ultimate motivation! I planted silver falls dichondra at the base of my potted asparagus fern earlier this spring, and I’ve diligently watered it all summer. I love the way the long strands cascade over the top of the planter. With a little reminder like this, I’m inspired to beautify other areas of the yard.

Asparagus fern and silver falls dichondra
Asparagus fern and silver falls dichondra

A few more blooms that are making an appearance this fall…this aster, which will soon be covered with additional purple daisy-like blossoms:

Aster in bloom
Aster in bloom

Plus, we got a lot of rain this summer, so the roses are still blooming in full force. For some, spring is the most beautiful time of the year in their gardens. For me, it’s the fall. Which means this is the time to really get my outdoor space in shape!

Roses as far as the eye can see
Roses as far as the eye can see

Cleaning Up the Yard

Enough talk already, right?! So just what can you do to get your yard ready for fall? For starters, trim away any stray vines that are getting out of control. Below we see a view of my patio, complete with trumpet vine that is draping just a little too much:

A view through the plants
A view through the plants

See the trellis in the next image? On the far right is jasmine, which looks lovely on that side. On the other side (not pictured), many twiggy tendrils were making the whole greenery spread look a little more dead than alive. I cleared away the dead pieces, making things appear refreshed. Can you tell there are a few too many stray leaves in this yard? While you’ll probably be removing excess leaves throughout the fall, it never hurts to start early!

Planters of succulents near the trellis
Planters of succulents near the trellis

In my front yard, Mexican feather grass and more silver falls dichondra make a big statement in a terraced landscaping area. I’m happy with the way it looks now, but the weeds were out of control. Yes, I pulled out the weeds by hand, taking care not to pull up any of the cascading greenery that I’ve worked so hard to cultivate. Removing weeds from your yard is an easy way to give it an update.

Mexican feather grass and cascading silver falls dichondra
Mexican feather grass and cascading silver falls dichondra

Knowing what to spend time on and what to let go is also key when it comes to gardening. A case in point: the garden below. See the green “ground cover” that surrounds the blue agave? Those are weeds. Yes, weeds. I took a lot of time to remove them a few weeks ago. You can see the results in this post. And then it rained. A lot. The weeds came back with a vengeance. You know what? It’s going to be raining even more this fall. Instead of taking hours to remove these weeds and have them come back again, I’m waiting this one out. As the weather gets cooler, they always eventually die off anyway. Plus, there are so many of them, it kind of looks intentional, right? You can humor me!

Blue agave continues to grow
Blue agave continues to grow

Fresh Touches for Fall

The trees were trimmed. I pulled the weeds. I cut the vines. I removed excess leaves. Now comes the fun part! I love changing up the look of the yard each season, and I’ve had a hard time finding a color scheme for my backyard in particular. There is an abundance of brown and beige in this space, so I’ve tried to add grey wherever I can (for a cool tone). Remember this trellis makeover?

A hanging planter update
A hanging planter update

But brown and grey get a little old. Some color is much needed! I decided to go with emerald green as an accent hue this fall. Not only is green is my favorite color, it has the potential to complement both warm and cool tones. Plus, it doesn’t look out of place, since it mirrors all of the natural greenery that surrounds it! I painted several planters in this shade to solidify my color scheme.

A shelf filled with potted plants
A shelf filled with potted plants

While it’s very tempting to add new plants to the yard in the fall, consider the fact that winter is coming. I end up carrying most of my potted plants to the garage each time it freezes. Not fun. So in the fall, I try to resist the urge to buy new plants and pots and instead re-pot the current plants that are outgrowing their containers. It’s amazing how a little more breathing room and some extra soil can completely revive greenery after a long hot summer!

Shelf greenery
Shelf greenery

Here’s one more emerald green planter from last week’s painting session. I used acrylic craft paint with a satin finish. I blended two shades to get the deep hue that I desired:

Succulents in an emerald green planter
Succulents in an emerald green planter

I think my yard is finally ready for fall! And hopefully winter as well. My kitty agrees, as you can see the Little Mister lounging in the green grass below. Did I mention that on the day of this photo shoot, it got up to 90 degrees?! Definitely more summer that fall-like right now. But all of that will be changing soon…

Dappled sunlight on a warm fall morning
Dappled sunlight on a warm fall morning

Happy gardening! May your autumn be filled with natural beauty!

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