Summer is over, but that doesn’t mean the gardening season should be over. If you want, you can keep the crops coming. Even if you don’t feel like planting, plenty of tasks keep you busy in the garden. It can appear that the vegetable garden is slowing down by August. Only warm-season veggies like tomatoes and squash are left after most early-season crops like spinach, lettuce, and peas have long since disappeared. Gardeners may consider resting their garden until next year as summer winds down. But the best time to plant many veggies for a fall harvest is late July through early August. 

When we talk about the benefits, fall is a perfect time for plantation because Summer heat stress disappears with the advent of lower air temperatures during the day. Winter is approaching, as indicated by cooler overnight temperatures. The ideal time to plant is fall because plants focus their energy underground and above-ground development slows down. Protected roots continue to expand, but plants restrict delicate new top growth that might be harmed by cold. Gardeners benefit from cooler temps as well. Planting is much more pleasant in cool weather than in the scorching sun.

Bright sunny days combined with milder temperatures make for the ideal conditions to plant and prepare for the upcoming growing season, making fall a terrific time to work in the garden. Here is our fall planting recommendation for the best things to plant before the first frost in New England. When the question arises, what to plant in a fall garden? 

Here are some options.


While choosing the right plants for your fall vegetable garden, you must determine when you anticipate the first freeze (defined as 32°F or less) because certain veggies may withstand some frost if you have any inquiries. What can you plant in the fall? What vegetables can you plant in the fall? 

There are many choices. Vegetables abound, including spinach, lettuce, carrots, cauliflower, beets, turnips, bunching onions, and a host of others.

 BEETS: When starting beets in the summer, they may need some shade cover to get started, but the cooler soil temperatures in fall, when the beets are maturing, will produce sweeter beets. They can handle some light frost and will grow up until the first hard freeze. Beets store well in the refrigerator or can be pickled or canned.

BROCCOLI: Late summer broccoli seedlings are less vulnerable to sporadic freezes than spring-planted broccoli. They should be picked before the first harsh cold, even if they can tolerate a mild frost once they are developed. It’s advisable to start seeds a little earlier and transplant them in the middle of the summer because they take a little longer to mature.

 CAULIFLOWER: Cauliflower thrives and produces tight, sensitive heads when cultivated in the fall. As they take a bit longer to mature, start your fall crop a little earlier, preferably around mid-summer. Seeds can be grown inside earlier, and seedlings can be transplanted mid- to late-summer to gain a head start on them.


Flowers for fall planting can be divided into two categories: annuals for instant autumn bloom gratification and perennial plants (including bulbs) that will flourish for seasons to come. An annual, such as mum, pansy, viola, or ornamental kale, is perfect for a pop of color for the season. A perennial, which can live and thrive for years, should be selected based on your hardiness zone for the coldest temperature it can withstand.

Coreopsis ‘Leading Lady Charlize: Coreopsis Leader Charlize can tolerate heat and cold. This outstanding performer produces an abundance of double, bright yellow flowers all year. It is mildew resistant and reaches 18 to 24 inches tall. It just has to be planted in full sun, “Leading Lady Charlize” may thrive in any soil.

Bee Balm Balmy Series: We adore discovering new, improved variations of certain traditional perennials. Bee balm from the Balmy Series, commonly known as monarda, is a beautiful illustration of a familiar plant with a fresh look. This robust beauty grows only 10 to 12 inches tall, is more compact, and produces an abundance of long-lasting, reddish-purple flowers that resemble crowns from late spring to early summer.

Salvia ‘Salute Deep Blue’: Salvia ‘Salute Deep Blue,’ a compact and early-flowering variety, is appreciated for its stunning spikes of sapphire-blue flowers that emerge in the late spring and early summer and return in the early fall. The plants can withstand heat, drought, deer, and rabbits.

Some other annual falls like mum, pansy, viola, ornamental kale, chrysanthemum, calibrachoa, petunia, and purple fountain grass.

Trees & Shrubs

When you plant them after summer’s punishing heat has passed, trees and shrubs can focus on growing roots deep into the soil instead of spending energy on producing new leaves, flowers, and fruit. Chinese pistache, maple, Japanese maple, fruit trees, dogwood, honey locust, linden, pine, spruce, Hydrangea, beautyberry, sweet shrub, blueberry, spirea, viburnum, sumac. Sweetgum

Bulbs: September is the time to plant early spring blooming bulb flowers such as daffodils, tulips, and crocus. Be sure to follow packaging directions for planting depths. A good rule of thumb is to plant tulips and daffodils 6 inches deep and crocus plants 3 inches deep. Bulbs should be put into the ground before late October to allow root growth before the frost.

Sweet Gum: Sweet gum’s distinctive star-shaped leaves change into a rainbow of fall hues, including crimson, orange, and burgundy, which by the conclusion of the season, gives the environment a carnival-like feel. Just be warned that this natural tree also produces a tonne of spiky, spherical seedpods that can be unpleasant (and painful for people and pets to step on) once they fall to the ground.

Bald Cypress: Bald cypress is a “fooled-you” plant that resembles an evergreen conifer in the fall. However, this enormous native tree’s russet-red needles change before dropping in the fall, revealing its striking architectural design, which you may admire all winter.


Many herbs do well when planted in the fall, provided they are divided from an existing herb plant and not new growth or seedlings.

Thyme: Thyme is an excellent perennial herb for bordering a herb garden. It is drought tolerant and grows slowly. Its tiny flowers attract many bees, and the leaves have a wonderful fragrance and flavor. Plants are sold in four-inch pots, and you can expect to find a variety of varieties at your local garden center, including lemon, lime, English, French, and common.

Lemon balm: Related to mint, the lovely lemon-scented foliage of lemon balm makes it an essential herb for tea and sprinkling over fruit salads. However, it can be invasive, so plant it only in an area where it can spread or put it in pots. It grows well in full sun to partial shade and is suited to fall planting. It loves rich, moist soil, so water regularly if there has been no rain. 

Tips for planting during fall

Before you plant, give the roots enough time to adapt and settle before the winter weather arrives. If fall has arrived, plant deciduous shrubs and trees like maple, hackberry, ash, thornless honey locust, linden, crabapple, sycamore, hawthorn, and horse chestnut that are easiest to establish.

Do you want to plant a garden for the fall but are unsure where to begin? Or what to plant in a fall garden

Make a call to Stone Solutions Maine right away to find out more about our superior landscaping services.