How to Choose Fall Garden Plants

Learn how to choose fall garden plants for your garden space.

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It’s that time of year when I’m asked if it’s too late for a fall garden.  If you want to begin by seed my answer would be yes unless you have a late frost.

This would mean your first frost date would be in the later part of November.  You’re pushing it though as most fall gardens started by seed begin in July and August. Don’t be alarmed because you have another option.

Today I’m going to share where and how to purchase fall plants for your garden.

There’s nothing wrong with purchasing plants especially if you’re new to gardening. To prove my point I’m also going to share my little purchase from yesterday’s adventure.

I’m also asked, “What should I grow this time of year?”  This is a great question and my answer will always be, “Grow what you love to eat.”

For a list of possible options visit last month’s Beginner Gardeners Fall Crops.

Where to Purchase Plants

Where you shop is a personal choice, just know that if you have a lot of questions they will be answered better at a small nursery.

Let’s see if we can get some of those questions answered now before purchasing. The first thing you need is a place to plant.  I’m going to assume you have a planting space set aside.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed

Once you have a plant list it’s time to go to the nursery.  Keep in mind they may not have everything on your list; most nurseries have fall plants delivered in stages.

Right now you can get an abundance of herbs and many vegetables.  When I was at the nursery I failed to see a good selection of lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower but in a few weeks I bet their racks will be filled with those varieties.

Choose plants that have been watered and have a good sense of life to them.

These plants were a tad thirsty but over all looked pretty good, so in a situation like want to make sure when you bring them home you water them first prior to transplanting.

Heirloom or Hybrid?

Most plants are marked Hybrid or Heirloom, which you choose is a personal choice; I always select heirloom or organic.  If you’re confused you may find Difference between Heirloom, Hybrid and GMO helpful.

Many times you’ll notice plants are only marked hybrid and the others say nothing at all.  It’s been explained to me at several nurseries the unmarked are heirloom.  I’ve asked this question at several locations and get the same answer.

Most nurseries large or small purchase their plants from trucks.  If you can find a small local nursery where they start their own seeds and sell those plants that would be a gem market and a place you would appreciate shopping.

Deciding which is heirloom and hybrid without the markings is broken down to trust.  However most growers are getting better abut marking their plants because it’s a way to cater to the consumer.


Planting Instructions

Each plant will come with a plastic insert; these little cards are your planting instructions. They will tell you how much sunlight and space the plant needs.  This makes transplanting a breeze so make sure your garden beds are prepped and ready for planting.

How About my Fall Garden?

During this little outing I purchased some spinach. I love this plant and it grows great in the fall.  I’m trusting this is a heirloom plant because I read the label, asked questions and dug through the piles of plants until I discovered a tray of winners.

This morning I transplanted broccoli and the beans I planted last month are coming along great.

Enjoy the fall gardening season, it’s one of the best seasons for gardening down south.


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