Create A Beautiful Fall Garden

The fall garden is my favorite -- the temperatures cool so gardening is more comfortable, weeds often begin to go dormant or have been scorched to death by the hot summer's sun, and the light becomes golden. Trees turn their brilliant colors as the days grow shorter.

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But fall gardens can have their troubles -- a glut of produce, wet and windy weather as the year moves toward winter, and after the leaves fall, bare branches and soil.

Here's how you can have a beautiful edible yard during the entire fall:

Choose plants which look good in fall

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There are several types of edible plants which look great in fall:

  • plants with brilliant fall foliage (blueberries, for example)
  • edible plants which bloom in the fall (for example, stevia and saffron crocus)
  • food plants such as winter squash whose fruit ripens in fall, giving extra autumn color. 
  • crops which you plant in your fall garden to harvest during winter or spring, such as kale, garlic, carrots, turnips, and so on

Learn how to choose edible plants which look great all year long in Module 11 of my Tasteful Yard Design course.

Prepare your yard for winter

Fall is the time to bring in the lightweight deck chairs, the garden umbrellas, and the glass ornaments, in favor of sturdy garden decor which can withstand wind, rain, hail, and snow, or whatever your fall garden conditions typically are.

It's also time to clear out dead plants, prune those plants which require fall pruning, do a final mow, trim your hedges, put in any trees you're going to add to your edible landscape, and begin your fall plantings.

Clear off your walkways

Even if you've installed a good landscape design, it won't get seen if it's covered in leaves.

Also, slippery leaves on your walkways can be a hazard.

It's a good idea to check every so often during the fall for leaf build-up so you can keep your walkways clean and safe for your visitors.

Keep up with the fall harvest

When you first plant something you should know when (in general) it will need to be harvested.

Harvesting crops early and often during the fall will give you the best results, both in quality of food and in the appearance of your yard.

A major problem which can arise in fall, especially with fruit trees, is produce rotting on the ground. Don't let this happen! Not only can this cause an unsightly mess and unpleasant smell, but can also attract animals and flies.

If you aren't going to be home during this time, it's worth hiring someone to come pick your crops for you.

If you find yourself with more produce than you are able to handle, there are several options:

  • give produce to your neighbors
  • give produce to your local soup kitchen or food pantry (check first to make sure that they accept fresh food donations -- many don't)
  • learn to can, dry, or otherwise preserve your fall harvest

Do you have an edible fall garden?
Join our contest!

Here's how it works:

Each month, you may enter your home edible garden in our monthly contest.




At the end of each season, all the gardens which are shared during the fall are eligible for prizes:

  • a special badge to put on your website or blog,
  • a physical prize which will be shipped to you (TBA), and
  • a $5.00 USD gift certificate (or the equivalent in your currency) to the online garden store of your choosing!

Entries are given points for:

  • Hardscape (walls, paths, walkways, etc)
  • Overall design
  • Whether the garden complements this house
  • Use of edible trees and shrubs
  • Use of edible perennials
  • Use of edible annuals
  • Curb appeal (Is the yard attractive?)
  • Photo quality (How good are the photos?)
  • How many edible garden photos you shared during the fall

The Northern Hemisphere Fall Garden contest winner will be announced December 1!

Want to talk more about your yard with a friendly group of people who love edible gardens as much as you do? Join the Tasteful Landscape community:

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