Fall garden projects can be the most fun gardening projects of the year. The air is crisp and cool, the colors seem more vibrant, and “sweat equity” isn’t quite the same as when braving the heat to care for that summer vegetable patch.
No matter which fall gardening project you choose, be sure to make plant roots super-happy by using Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix (for containers) or Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Vegetables & Herbs (for in-ground). Then, give plants a jump-start on strong root growth by dropping Miracle-Gro® Quick Start® Planting Tablets into the planting holes. A month after planting, begin feeding them with Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food for some instant nourishment to help keep your garden thriving. (With all of these products, be sure to follow label directions!)
Check out these easy and creative suggestions to get those DIY juices flowing.
Homegrown Salad Buffet
Lettuce loves cooler temperatures and it’s one of the easiest, fastest plants to grow. Create a colorful, living centerpiece for your outdoor dining table that does double-duty, delivering first-rate style and a tasty first course. Start with a shallow trough, low bowl-shaped container, or rectangular planter. Make sure it has drainage holes (add them if it doesn’t), and place a tray or saucer underneath to prevent soil and water from spilling out onto the table. Fill ⅓ full with Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix, then plant a mixed assortment of lettuces—think lime green, dark red, speckled, oakleaf, and loose-leaf—and fill in around them with more potting mix, then water well. Choose strong, vigorous Bonnie Plants® for great results, and since you’ll be harvesting frequently, go ahead and pack them more closely together than plant tags suggest. (Be sure to feed regularly with Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food, too, for lots of luscious leaves.) You may also want to include nasturtiums, a vibrant flowering plant with edible leaves and petals, and an Italian parsley plant or two for a bright flavor twist.
Tomato Cage Bird Bath (or Feeder)
Wondering what to do with that wire tomato cage this fall? Don’t store it—restore it! Find a spot in your flower beds that you can view well from a window so you can enjoy the birds as they sip, dip, and shake (or dine, if you decide to fill it with bird seed instead of fresh water). For this project you’ll need a round tomato cage, garden soil, a 14-inch plastic or terra cotta saucer, and some cool season plants. First, improve the planting area—and help protect against both over- and under-watering—by mixing in 3 inches of Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Vegetables & Herbs with the top 6 inches of existing soil. Securely drive the metal stakes deeply into the soil until the first ring is resting on the ground. Place the saucer into the top ring of the tomato cage (you’ll find the rim fits just perfectly). Plant climbing flowers or vegetables, such as sugar snap peas or nasturtiums, around the base of the stand. Finally, fill the saucer with water or bird seed and wait for your feathered friends to arrive!
Evergreen Entry Planters
It can be a real challenge to come up with front door decor that looks fresh and gorgeous all the way through to the holidays. We’ve got the solution: evergreen containers with easy-to-update decor. Simply choose three hardy evergreen plants that will thrive in your zone through December. Rosemary works well in zones 6 to 9, for example, while boxwood is a classic choice for those in zones 4 to 8. Conifers such as ‘Red Star’ chamaecyparis or ‘Carolina Sapphire’ cypress are sturdy, stellar-looking choices. Instant gratification is the goal, so purchase larger, mature plants in 2- or 3-gallon containers. Early in the fall, plant “spiller” plants like ivy or trailing pansy underneath the evergreens to flow over the edges of the pots. In October, pile some pumpkins and other gourds around the bases and on the steps. In December, remove the gourds and add battery-operated string lights for a sparkly, twinkly glow. Or, cover the soil line with piles of plastic ball ornaments in metallic tones for easy eye-candy. The brilliance of this planting is that it’s so easy to personalize it with next-to-no effort.
Looking for an indoor fall gardening project? Learn how to make a pumpkin centerpiece right here!