What to Plant in the Fall


Spring isn’t the only time for planting, get those hands dirty this season and prepare for beautiful buds next year!

Turf grass, spring bulbs, cool-season vegetables, perennials, trees, and shrubs can all be effectively planted in the fall.

Autumn's cooler temperatures are easier on both plants and gardeners. The soil is still warm, allowing roots to grow until the ground freezes. Plus, the late season is usually bargain time at garden centers that are trying to sell the last of their inventory before winter!

Spring Bulbs

All spring-blooming bulbs need a period of cold dormancy to bloom. Plant bulbs in fall to ensure a beautiful spring display.

  • Daffodil

  • Grape hyacinth

  • Siberian squill

  • Allium

  • Fritillaria

  • Dog's-tooth violet

  • Glory-of-the-snow

  • Winter aconite

  • Snowdrop


Fall is the best time to plant pansies because the still-warm soil temperatures give their roots time to establish. By planting in fall, you'll get two seasons of enjoyment out of these cool-season favorites. Remove spent flowers so the plant doesn't use its energy to set seeds, and keep the soil moist. After the soil freezes, mulch plants to prevent alternate freezing and thawing cycles that can heave plants out of the ground.

Cool-Season Vegetables

Many vegetables thrive in cool weather, including:

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Cabbage

  • Kale

  • Lettuce

  • Rutabaga

  • Spinach

  • Swiss chard

Trees and Shrubs

Fall is an ideal time to plant trees and shrubs. The weather is cool but the soil is still warm enough for root development. Before digging, check with your local utility companies to locate any underground lines. Always plant trees and shrubs at their natural soil lines. Keep newly planted trees or shrubs well watered until the ground freezes so they get a good start before going into full dormancy during winter.


There are plenty of perennials to plant in fall, especially specimens with large root balls. If you have hostas in your yard, fall is an ideal time to divide and replant plant them. Peonies should also be planted or transplanted in the fall. Avoid planting them too deep—no more than 2 inches above the bud on the root—or they won't bloom.

Any fall-planted perennials should be carefully watered until the ground freezes to keep their roots healthy and strong. Don't overwater, but make sure the plants get at least 1 inch of water one time per week.

Information in this article c/o BH&G