A Beautiful Garden Starts in the Fall – Virginia Fall Gardening Tips

A Beautiful Garden Starts in the Fall – Virginia Fall Gardening Tips


April showers bring May flowers, but if you want a garden that stays beautiful all year long, you need some good old fashioned elbow grease in September.

The gardens here at Colonial Gardens Bed & Breakfast are an important part of who we are. People come from all over the world to stay with us, so we want to keep our garden beautiful all year long!

Our secret is that we take our fall gardening projects pretty seriously! While it may seem like the gardening portion of the year is coming to a close, fall is actually the best time for gardening. The work you do in September will be the key to creating your garden for next year.


Here are our tips for how to prepare your Virginia garden for the year ahead!

Virginia Fall Gardening Tips

Summer Garden Clean Up

Garden lovers know that the end of each season brings with it a gardening to-do list. Before you can get to the fun parts of your fall gardening, clean-up from the summer is required. This is especially true for the ground here after a busy wedding season.

According to the Virginia Gazette, getting rid of dead plants and weeds will help prevent disease from spreading through the garden. In addition, this is a great time to remove summer plants that are cold weather sensitive and bring the house plants back indoors.

Virginia Fall Gardening Tips

Fall Garden Planting

Plants can thrive during the fall! The cooler weather will actually encourage their growth, as they are not having to deal with the intense heat of summer. We love planting in fall. It gives us the opportunity to decorate for the season, from the outside, in!

Not sure what to plant?

Perennials: You CAN have flowers in your fall garden! In fact, according to Peggy Krapf, a certified landscaping designer in Virginia, the right perennials will thrive throughout the season. She recommends planting mums, pansies, violas, black-eyed Susans, and Mexican sage.

Trees and Shrubs: According to the Daily Press, fall is the best time to plant trees and shrubs. This is because the roots have a chance to grow strong away from the hard heat of summer. By allowing them to create a strong root system, these plants are more likely to do well through the winter frost.

Vegetables: If you want to add vegetables to your garden, now is a great time to start! There are lots of delicious options from which to choose! Some of our favorites are:


We love planting cabbages as decoration for the fall. We find that these plants are hardy enough to tolerate hard frost, allowing us to keep them into the winter months.

We found a great article from the Piedmont Master Gardeners in Virginia with a complete list of fall vegetables and some great tips for timing your planting! Check it out here!

Virginia Fall Gardening Tips

Winterizing the Garden

With a little bit of preparation, you can help your garden survive the frost and ice of the winter months with as little loss as possible. Mulching is the key! By adding an additional layer of protection to the beds of your plants, you will help insulate tender root systems of trees and shrubs. And you don’t need to go to the store to buy too much mulch. Instead, use what you probably have quite a bit of…the fall leaves! Instead of bagging them up, we chop them up with a lawn mower and spread them onto the beds.

Virginia Fall Gardening Tips

Spring Garden Preparation

It may seem too soon to be thinking about spring again, however by planning ahead, you can give your garden a head start on next year.

Lawn Care: We always seed, fertilize, and aerate our lawn in the fall months. This is the secret to our beautiful, green lawn that looks great in our wedding photos.

Spring Flower Bulbs: After a few months of cold weather, there is something magical about seeing our daffodils bloom. These daffodils are always the first flowers you will see in our gardens in the spring, however, these bulbs are planted in the fall. They lay dormant during the cold winter months and then start to bloom with the warmer weather. Decide what types of flowers you want to see bloom in the spring and plant them now. Lily of the Valley, Tulips, and Crocus are all great choices!

What are your favorite plants that you include in your fall garden? 

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