Until I started growing flowers for market, I had no idea about fall-planted flowers. My experience had been solely with our spring and summer bloomers like zinnia and sunflowers. I felt like I’d discovered a whole new world when I started learning about cool season annual and even perennial bloomers (and foliage). These days some of our absolute favorites come from seeds planted in the fall – that produce the most beautiful early spring and summer flowers.
I always want to be a resource to you- so I thought I’d share with you my favorite things to plant each fall for some of our favorite and most popular blooms. This list is not and exhaustive list of what you can grow but it does include my favorites (and that means they are probably easy, also).
What to Direct Seed this fall??
These are probably the easiest to grow if you don’t have time and energy to mess with starting seeds indoors or buying transplants. “Direct seed” means that you just plant them as seeds in the ground. Read the package carefully because some seeds sit on top of the ground because they need light to germinate and some need to go into the soil.
Bells of Ireland
Nigella or Love in a Mist
What to start indoors in trays or buy as a transplant?
Carnations or any type of dianthus
Rudbeckia or black eyed Susan
Fall is also the best time to plant roses and most fruit trees, both of which I like to have around. Be sure and get ones that are adapted to your zone. Our zone in West Texas is Zone 8A.
Bulbs and Corms
I don’t grow as many tulips or daffodils as I used to. I love them for my own gardens but as a cut flower, a short, hot spell in February can force them to bloom regardless of how tall they are, which makes bouquet making challenging. However, now is the time to order and get those in if you like them.
I always order a ton for my own front beds and certainly have a few that continue to come back each year. There are several that will ship in early spring and arrive “pre-chilled” so that you don’t have wonder if they got enough cold to bloom nicely. Certainly the winter of 2020 provided us Texans with plenty of cold!
I do continue to try ranunclus corms. Some years they are glorious and some years, not so much. This is the time to get that done if you are feeling adventurous.
If you are truly interested in cutting from your garden for arranging or just bringing inside for your own table, be sure to include plenty of green or other interesting textures with your flowers. Some of my early spring favorites are bupleurum and ammi. In the summer I primarily use basil and mint as filler but I’m always looking for more variety.
My favorite source for flower seeds is Johnny’s Selected Seeds but I also try and shop the more rare seed shops online to have something unique.
Happy growing, friends!