Gardening Tales

Gardening In The Fall

September 25, 2016
Some of the strangest things happen in Texas this time of the year and one of them is that it is time to plant seeds again. 
As long as I have lived here, it always seems so frustrating to me that during the Summer our gardens slow down and then as the temps cool it's time to start all over again.
Oh I get the part about the heat, the lack of water and all of the chemistry sort of details, it's just that seasonally it seems to me illogical not to have a vigorous vegetable garden in the middle of Summer.
Well, there is an upside to this and that is that we can grow a Fall/Winter garden too!

Right now I am still enjoying these amazing zinnias and as you can see so are the butterflies.

I wanted to share with you some drought resistant plants, that I have had great luck with and also you know Fall is a great time to add plants to your landscape.

What to plant that is drought resistant.

Plants do not produce well in the middle of a Hot Texas Summer, except drought tolerant plants.
In fact, most shrubs and plants just survive in our Texas heat-much like I do!
These colorful zinnias all grown from seeds certainly like the heat and have been showy performers all season long.
Hummingbirds and butterflies  have adored them and so have we!
For you gardeners out there I have provided a short list of a few other drought resistant plants.
1.  Sedum
2.  Lavandula Multifida
3.  Salvias or Sages
4.  Japanese Honeysuckle
5.  Glossy Abelia
6.  Verbena
7.  Passion Flowers
8.  Hawthorn
9.  Common flowering Quince
10. Cannas

What to Plant for a Fall and Winter Vegetable Garden
I have "toyed," with planting a Fall/Winter vegetable garden before, but this year I'd like to do a bit more.
So my research has been interesting to me, so it might just be to you too.
There are many benefits to planting a cold weather vegetable garden and it is not just reaping the benefits of the harvest.
Did you know that it is also an excellent method for enhancing the fertility and tilth of your garden.
Actually for those of us who live in warmer climates it is our time to bask in the produce that we can grow.
October is an ideal time to plant greens, broccoli and other cool weather plants.
Interestingly enough several of my friends have commented that their planting zones have changed, so after more research I have found a wonderful tool for you and myself.
It is a interactive map provided by the USDA on plant hardiness and  planting zones
just click on this LINK and you will be taken to their official site.

We have several gardeners in our family and it tickles me so much as I feel as though my farming roots have been passed on to some grandchildren too-I know that would make my Mom and Dad so happy!
One of them is even planting potatoes and that was our main farm crop in Idaho.
Sharing a suggestion list for Fall/Winter gardening crops.



Now that we have our two acres,and the heat is subsiding, I really want to know what zone I was in so I can get to work in my garden.
It seems that in my region of North Texas we live in zone 8a.
If you live in zone 8a like we do, you can grow all of the above plus add the following to your list.

1.Brussels Sprouts

Have a lovely week, here are some flowers from me to you!

Summer is finally drawing to an end in our region of the country and I am looking forward to cooler days, colorful walks and hopefully a little garden that will grow with all it's might in the lazy days of Fall.

Have a lovely day!

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  1. This is wonderful information Joyce.
    I garden in zone 9. It is always so hot this time of year , I usually do not have a fall garden of flowers and vegetables.
    You have inspired me as you always do!!


  2. Hello Jemma! We are now zone 4 but when we first moved here, we were zone 3! We just enjoy our evergreens and use potted flowers during the summer. But we've had so much rain this season that I've hardly had to water! Now that school is my first priority, I've let Mother Nature water and take care of what flowers I have left. I've been a bit under the weather today (developing laryngitis) so I did NOTHING, but next week, I need to get rid of my potted plants and hunker down for fall.

    Gorgeous selections!

  3. Jemma,
    Love your zinnias the best! They are such happy flowers. Let us know how your fall/winter garden does.


  4. It sounds like you are going to be busy and enjoying some yummy organic veggies this fall.

  5. Thanks for the list of drought tolerant plants Jemma. Next year I really want zinnias, as I've seen several blogs (including yours) with beautiful colourful blooms. I'm in zone 4, so our climates are quite different! Enjoy your winter gardening!

  6. We are in Zone 6 so I don't do any fall veggies (though I could do some). I usually do some potted mums for color in the autumn and put the rest of the plants to bed for the year.

    I planted Zinnias from seed this year and they've been marvelous in my garden!

  7. Excellent information ~ thank you for sharing! My balcony gets all the afternoon sun & extreme heat so I've been hesitant to plant pots of flowers. This gives me hope! :)

    Have a blessed week!

  8. Hi Jemma,
    So pretty. Glad you have found some colorful pretties that will grow in your weather in Texas. All us girls no matter what zone we live in should have pretty flowers around us. Have a super week.

  9. Hello, Jemma! Thanks for sharing all the planting information. The flowers are beautiful, I just love the sunflowers. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

  10. Jemma, your flowers are beautiful! Thanks for sharing the great gardening tips. I think several of the plants you listed will also do well here in Oklahoma. I may have to give the zinnias a try. I hope that you have a wonderful day!!!

  11. thanks much for all the good tips...after gardening all summer, I am ready for a rest from it so will wait until spring...zinnias are one of my very favorite...

  12. Your zinnias are beautiful - they're a favorite here. I cut some and placed in a white enamelware pitcher. Was nice to have some butterflies visit near the front of the house. Great list of options for planting, trying to scale back and focus more on propagating so when this move happens I have something to take with me. Enjoyed!!

    Carole @ Garden Up Green

  13. Thanks for the tips ♥ Happy Monday ♥

  14. I totally agree with your list of drought tolerant plants, and want to add a couple more: Lantana and Mexican petunias. I don't think you could kill either one even using a blow torch!!

    I'm so happy that we received some rain this weekend and that the weather has cooled a bit. On my to-do list next weekend - plant mums. :-)

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  15. A fall and winter garden?? I am pea green! Winter is so dreary here. I look forward to December when the tulips make their way back to the grocery store. That carries me though to the spring. Your flowers are gorgeous!

  16. So I'm thinking planting & getting attached to some new plants in the garden might sell this house! Murphy's Law & all that! Right?
    I'm going to try it!

  17. I know that with you being in Texas, you are looking forward to cooler temps! It has really hit us here in northern IL as of today. Woke up to very cool temps - only in the 60's. We also have a powerful breeze, so it seems even cooler. I actually had to close up some of my windows. I'm afraid I get pretty lazy and discouraged after the summer flowers here fade (which they have). I don't plant anything for fall. Your zinnias are just gorgeous.

  18. Great information, which many will find so useful.

    I love your zinnias, they are so colourful ... and your arrangement of them a delight to look at.

    All the best Jan

  19. We can always count on zinnias, right? I don't have them at this house, but years ago I had them en masse in the front yard and they came back every year. I loved how they lasted until Halloween and time for the mums. And flowers for the house all summer. I love verbena but mine always burns up- can't seem to keep it alive.
    Hope your garden grows and grows during these cooler months! xo, T.

  20. Jemma, this is some great information. One thing I might suggest, and I don't mean to sound like a know-it-all, but in 2012 the USDA rezoned some areas of the US for its growing zone hardiness borders, and mine was one of those affected. I used to be Zone 6, but am now considered Zone 7a. That plant hardiness zone map, I believe, is a more accurate resource for your readers, esp. for when questioning those plants that fall right on the edges of the zones. I know my planting options have certainly changed over the years with the changes suggested by that resource. :)
    Rita C at Panoply

    1. Thanks so much for sharing this information-us gardeners must stick together with our knowledge!
      Just made the correction with a link to the USDA website and interactive map.
      Thanks again, Rita!

  21. We've been spending some time this week cleaning out the summer containers and pretty much getting rid of whatever was planted earlier in the summer, among them was some peas. I was surprised to see, when we returned from Maine Friday night, that there were peas ready to be harvested. I noticed none at all before we left, just one week prior. I did do a second planting of lettuce and spinach, the later of which didn't do well.

    I think we're in zone 5, but I'm going to check now via your link. Thank you!


  22. Your Zinnias are still thriving with vibrant colors, Jemma. Yes, it seems like the flowers here don't do as well in the summer months, but my Roses are still blooming. They are such sturdy flowers. Thank you for the Sunflowers. They are so lovely, and I really like the blue vase that you put them in. Keep growing your vegetables, Jemma. It's such a wonderful thing to do.

    love, ~Sheri

  23. what a great post. we are in zone 7 and I have been wanting to start planting things for a while now..

  24. Jemma I'm not far from you in Oklahoma and I feel the same. Your gardens are so pretty. Do you know my Zinnias did nothing this year. Nothing.

  25. Jemma I'm not far from you in Oklahoma and I feel the same. Your gardens are so pretty. Do you know my Zinnias did nothing this year. Nothing.

  26. Love your beautiful garden my friend. Everything is so pretty. We planted some collards from seeds and they are in my ground now. Hoping they will make a small harvest for us. Thanks for the information too. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  27. Those flowers are so pretty and I do see the butterflies are loving them. Great tips for fall gardening Jemma. I would love to meet you in person sometime in the future. Have a lovely week ahead Jemma. xo

  28. I love your pretty flowers and the butterflies. Thanks for sharing this gardening post Jemma at our Cooking and Crafting with J&J. Enjoy the rest of the week and weekend.
    Julie xo

  29. Hi Jemma, Love these gorgeous blooms for fall. Thank you for sharing the great gardening tips too. I also wish we had more of a bounty during the summer. A veggie garden for us has always been a challenge due to the position of our yard and no real areas to make a garden. So at times we do some container gardening. Lovely post and happy fall gardening sweet friend. xo

  30. Jemma,
    Your fall flowers are so pretty! My summer ones are still hanging on. Temperatures dipped way down and I thought the flowers would not make it. I brought my potted mums inside. Luckily all survived our first cold night! You are so lucky to get a second wind for planting! I love your zinnias, I haven't planted any in a long time but I have to have some next year. They are a bright spot and tend to last! Enjoy your flowers!

  31. Gorgeous. You inspired me with zinnias and mine are beautiful this fall. I'm thrilled that I threw some seeds out. They are such pretty colors for fall. I can't wait to see how your fall/winter garden grows. Thanks for linking up to our fledgling party. We appreciate your support.

  32. Jemma your gardening tips are very impressive. I have Boxwoods and evergreens in my stone walled gardens and grow my flowers in containers. With all the heat Philadelphia endured this summer my poor sweet white and purple petunias were spent by the end of August. I am now enjoying Mums for Fall. Love your colorful flowers for fall.

  33. Thanks for the reminder on this, Jemma. Our fall season is short but lettuce and spinach work very well for a second seeding and radishes, too. Rick has a good garden plot (mine is just herbs) so I'll put a bug in his ear about these. We could use some new good life around here these days. And bulbs! Got to get bulbs!

  34. This is interesting information, Jemma. I do like the bright and cheerful flowers.

  35. interesting!! :)

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  36. Our season will be coming to a close soon but we are still having above average temps. in the low 70's so the garden is still hanging in there...
    Great post with great info!
    Thanks so much for stopping by!!


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