Austin Autumn has arrived and it’s one of the most perfect times of the year in central Texas. When much of the US is prepping for seriously colder weather in October, Austinites are thinking about eating meals outdoors and gardening. That’s right folks. It’s time to clear out the fried and dried plants that couldn’t cut it during the summer months, or have born their fruits and passed.
Planting in the fall can be beautiful, and there are many flower varieties out there that will weather the coming colder months very well and still maintain their beauty in a sustainable manner. Now that those 90+ degree days are behind us for the year, make your garden beautiful with flowers like pansies, snapdragons, sweet peas and stock. Also, be sure to adjust your sprinkler systems to use less water now that the sun/heat aren’t sucking every last drop of moisture from the world. Remember to find native and/or hardy plants for your garden whenever possible. A great resource guide for this is Native and Adapted Landscape Plants book from the City of Austin.
For those of us who like prepping a vegetable garden, now is the PERFECT time to begin laying our cool season vegetables like broccoli, beets, carrots, brussel sprouts, onions, spinach, etc. Be sure to prepare your soil properly and pay attention where you are positioning your garden in terms of shade, other nutrient hungry plants, and so on. There are a few incredible resources out there for Central Texas vegetable/fruit gardening, such as Growing a Fall Garden by Aggie Horticulture.
This is also a fun time of year with the kids, because you can start teaching them about planning for the future. Plant some bulb plants that do best in the ground over the winter time. Tell the kiddos about the miracles of mother nature and what’s in store come March/April. Follow a bulb-prep and planting guide like this surprisingly helpful article from the Statesman and then mark it on your calendar for when to celebrate the flowering of these plants in the Spring.
It’s also a good time to look at the plants you’ll have indoors for the winter. We are huge advocates at the Purple Fig for air quality. It doesn’t matter how fancy your hermetically-sealed, allergen-reducing ventilation system might be. We STRONGLY recommend plants in the home, as they do wonders for your indoor air quality. The Mother Nature Network has a great article about 15 Houseplants for Improving Indoor Air Quality.
A few other great resources for all your Austin gardening tips/needs year-round include:
Go forth! Grow things and live an organic life.