Fall planting guide

From dramatic seasonal containers to gorgeous autumn grasses, here's everything you need to plant this season

Top plants for your fall garden

Our picks for the very best bulbs, greens, trees, and more to set out now for a vibrant garden come spring

Low-water lawns
Photo by Thomas J. Story

Low-water lawns

Traditional lawns need lots of water to stay lush-looking. But if you’re getting serious about slashing your water bill, now’s a good time to plant or replace the usual lawn with a low-water grass such as blue grama or a fescue blend such as Eco-Lawn (pictured; wildflowerfarm.com). In warm-winter areas, start seed in fall; where winters are cool, wait until spring. Prep the soil by tilling it 8 inches deep. Top with a 3- to 4-inch layer of organic compost. Till again; rake the area smooth. Water thoroughly, let the soil settle for a few days, then sow seed.

More great picks: Tufted hairgrass is a native bunchgrass (groworganic.com). Plant ‘Legacy’ and ‘UC Verde’, both buffalo grasses grown from plugs (highcountrygardens.com), in spring to midsummer.

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