5 Signs of Autumn’s Arrival

The autumn equinox is this weekend which means fall will be officially here but along the way nature has been telling us that fall is here already.  Let’s take a peek at some of the signs of fall around my garden.

5 Signs of Autumn’s Arrival

  • The annual discussion of what causes allergies begins when the golden rod blooms.  Goldenrod is completely innocent when it comes to your nasal issues.  The real culprit is ragweed.  Ragweed pollinates sends its pollen to other plants (and your nose) through the wind but goldenrod relies on its attractive golden plumes to  bring in beneficial pollinators! Don’t blame the goldenrod, its just a sign of fall!
Goldenrod (Solidago)
  • Other weeds begin to sprout this time of year too.  Cool season weeds like chickweed get their start when the weather gets more suitable to their liking.  Chickweed is also one of those plants that can be eaten and is in fact very nutritious.  The next time you’re foraging for food in your backyard consider a salad of chickweed with some dandelion greens.  You might just eat your way out of a weedy yard!  (Don’t eat any plants from yards that have been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides!)
  • ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum and mums are two more signs of fall’s arrival.  I try to cut my sedum back during the summer to create more blooms and sturdier stems.  Otherwise ‘Autumn Joy’ likes to flop open in the middle under the weight of the heavy blooms.  I should cut my mums back a couple times during the year but usually don’t.  As you can see these mums are happy despite my pruning neglect!
  • One of my favorite shrubs, beautyberry, is showing off this time of year.  The purple berries form in clusters all along the stem.  Pollinators love the small white flowers in late spring and early summer.  The birds love it in winter when they can’t find other things to eat.
  • The sassafras trees are beginning their transformation.  In our yard the sassafras trees are the first trees to begin turning each year.  The mitten shaped leaves change from green to a beautiful red.  

While this last photo isn’t a sign of fall I wanted to share it with you anyway.  It’s a yellow rose that has bloomed prolifically this summer and continues to fill the backyard with its fragrance.  It was devoured by Japanese beetles in June and bounced back.  Japanese beetles are a nuisance but are not a death sentence!
How is fall shaping up in your garden?

5 thoughts on “5 Signs of Autumn’s Arrival”

  1. I'm intrigued by your comment of cutting back your sedum. Mine has flopped just as you described, but I didn't know it could be cut back. I'll add it to my calendar with cropping the mums in June.

    There's not much in the way of fall here yet, but my beauty berries look great. I picked up some already blooming asters for 50 cents each and hope to get more blooms out of them still.

  2. I guess it might be getting fall like. Haven't been out much since my surgery. Couldn't even tell you what my garden looks like really. Hopefully my husband will guard me on my crutches outside this weekend as I am a fall risk right now. Anyway, I miss pinching my mums and pineapple sage all summer,we shall see what happens. I did not know about pinching Autumn Joy, do you stick the tops in the soil to root like you can with the mum tips?

  3. Fall? Really? I hadn't noticed since it's still raining profusely every day and as hot as Hades daytime here in SE Florida, although since the temperatures have dropped to about 75F at night we are almost thankfully at least in the spirit of the season known as Fall. Having said that my tomato, eggplant, and lettuce seedlings are up so I'm in for a great vegetable season, that's my signal that "Fall" is approaching.

  4. Beauty berry is beauty-ful but it sure grows HUGE and the berries go everywhere. I have beautyberry sprouting all summer in my flower beds, in the cracks of my patio and where ever the birds drop them!! I cut mine back all the way to the ground this year because they were just taking over and they just popped right back virtually the same size! My Autumn Joy is particularly beautiful this year. My roses – well, not so well. I got a great first bloom but during the heat/drought (ok I didn't water constantly) they didn't bloom. I hoped with the sunny cooler fall, they would bounce back and I have gotten a lot of stem growth but few flowers. I waited a bit too late to fertilize them possibly.

    I do have a question. I started a number of plants from seed this summer when I thought it was too hot to plant outdoors. Several of the plants popped right up under the grow light but then didn't grow. None of them got more than a couple of true leaf sets. So I just left there there to see what would happen and they are tiny tiny plants that look healthy but never grew. I have some basil that is maybe 1/2 inch at the most and they've been like that for a month and a half. What am I doing wrong? Basil, arugula, brussels sprouts. The only seeds that grew successfully were sunflowers! Helen

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