It's Fall Y'all: A Southerner's Passion for a Long-Lost Season
Updated: Mar 10
I'd never seen a purple leaf until I turned 18 years old. True story! Freshman year at college away from the damp Mississippi heat, my eyes were opened to the absolute radiance of color that autumn offered. Leaves still drop in Mississippi, of course, but never in the quantity or spectacle of more temperate climates. Thus began my obsession with the season that has grown past any pumpkin spice coffee and cable-knit sweaters.
People used to say I was crazy for walking around in shorts and a t-shirt. Then they realized I was in mourning for my lost 40-60 degree days of childhood instead of the 70-80 degrees I grew up in. I've made up my lost time living in the Midwest these past few years, however, and am no longer reluctant to bundle up!
As if you needed any more reason beyond the dazzling display of colors or trying your cousin's mead experiments, here's a short list for why fall rocks:
The best time to plant - It's true for the simple reason that days are cooler (which is less harsh on early plant growth) but the ground remains warm enough for root establishment before the ground freezes over. Reach out to us about planting natives that are born and bred to utilize this growth phase. Now there's no excuse not to grab a shovel and chuck on your fashionable fall pullover to show off while you dig. It's a win-win!
The water bill - Water reduction saves you the dollars you need to support your loved one's cinnamon and clove spice addiction throughout the season. Photosynthesis in your plants slows because of the shorter days, so you save on trips with the garden hose. Be aware of cool, dry winds that can damage foliage though, and water accordingly.
Leafy gifts, not eyesores - Leaf litter on the ground doesn't take long to stagnate. The butterscotch yellows and tawny oranges all turn a murky brown eventually, but that's not to say they can't be useful! Our resident homesteader, Alicia Owen, mentioned in a previous post that leaves can be a great resource for winterizing plants and providing shelter for beneficial insects. Greenscape Geeks offers fall-cleanup services for the loose branches and leaves that still needy tidying up.
Growing with the season - Beginner gardeners, take note: vegetable selection should be different this time of year. The hard transition you see with seasonal food is usually down the grocery aisles. One minute it's spring peas and broccoli, the next it is strictly pumpkins and gourds. Find the in-betweens of the season that will still have time to mature like kohlrabi and garlic. You also still have a great window for fast growers like radishes and turnips. For any complete beginner, contact us for our garden consultations!
I hope I've given you another reason or two you didn't even know you loved about this time of year. Spread some knowledge to others and smartly throw your scarf over your shoulder while doing so. Remember that Greenscape Geeks is willing to work in your yard this fall to make it the best it can be before spring with our list of services.