Autumn Garden Chores – Getting Ready for Next Year’s Garden

The 2023 garden season is almost over in North Mississippi, and since I moved to my current home too late to have a successful garden here this year, I am doing several things now to get a jump on next year’s garden. For one thing, I have set up several raised beds, and I have added a thick blanket of soil and gin trash in a large planting area. Beneath the soil, I had placed a layer of cardboard–to discourage the growth of grass and weeds.

It is October now, and today was flannel shirt weather. I planted some perennial mums in my new soil.

Perennial Chrysanthemum Pink Mammoth
Image Credit: Spring Hill Nursery

Perennial Chrysanthemum Coral Mammoth
Image Credit: Burpee

White Daisy Mammoth Mum

Perennial Chrysanthemum White Mammoth
Image Credit: Spring Hill Nursery

  • Height/Habit:36 – 42 inches
  • Spread:5 – 3 feet
  • Spacing:4 – 5 feet
  • Hardiness Zone:3-9

White Montauk Daisies – Image Credit Plant Addicts

  • Full Sun (At Least 6 Hours Of Direct Sunlight)
  • Mature Height 2 – 3 Feet
  • Mature Spread 2 – 3 Feet
  • Growing Zones 3 – 8


Mullein – Image Credit Rare Seeds
I set out 2 small mullein plants today, too.

In addition, I have planted some iris bubs:

Clarence Reblooming Bearded Iris

Clarence Reblooming Iris – Image Credit Brecks
Bloom Time Early flowering, reblooms late summer to early fall. (Mid spring, reblooms in late summer to early fall)

  • Height 35 inches

Fiery Temper Bearded Iris

Fiery Temper Reblooming Iris – Image Credit Brecks

Blooms mid to late fall. Height: 36″

Immortality Reblooming Bearded Iris

Immortality Reblooming Iris – Image Credit Brecks

Bloom Time mid to late spring. Height: 29″

Midnight Marvel Hibiscus

Midnight Marvel Hardy Hibiscus – Image Credit Brecks

  • Bloom Time  Midsummer to early fall

  • Height 4 feet

Goldsturm Black-Eyed Susan

Goldstrum Rudbeckia or Black-Eyed Susan – Image Credit Brecks

  • Bloom TimMidsummer to early fall

  • Height 28 – 32 inches

Grape Crush New England Aster

Grape Crush Aster – Image Credit Brecks

  • Bloom Time Early fall

  • Height 26 – 30 inches

Maid Of Honor Hellebore

Maid of Honor Helebore – Image Credit Brecks

  • Bloom Time Early to mid spring

  • Height 18 – 24 inches

“Ranging in color from light to dark pink, these charming blooms are produced in abundance.

“Arriving in early spring, hellebores often flower during the Christian season of Lent, which is how they got their common name of Lenten roses. Recent breeding advancements have resulted in the amazing varieties offered in these collections. For example, breeding that improved stem strength and modified bud placement on these stems allow blooms to face outward, where they can more easily be seen.

Blooms That Brighten Shady Spots
“Experienced gardeners know hellebores are the perfect choice for extending the blooming season, since they combine well with other early blooming plants such as snowdrops. Long-lived hellebores keep looking fresh until other spring flowers take their place. They also are wonderful companions to such varieties as hostas and ferns that appear later in spring. Hellebores are must-haves for shady spots and patio pots, providing colour and interest when everything else is still enjoying its winter hibernation.

Purple de Oro Dwarf Reblooming Daylily

Purple d’Oro Reblooming Daylily – Image Credit Brecks

“Brilliant colour and classic form make it a garden standout!

Dramatic 2-3″, dark purple blooms have yellow and green throats. At 18-20″ tall, these hardy reblooming daylilies look best when planted in clusters, and make great companions to contrasting yellows.”
All of the above are live plants. In addition, I plan to try something new this year. Since I have an abundance of great soil ready, I plan to winter-sow some seeds that I hope will germinate and grow next year. From what I have read, the best seeds for this type of planting are those that require cold stratification.

A vertical close up picture of a blue cornflower growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background. G

Bachelors Buttons or Cornflowers
Image Credit Gardener’s Path
“Mature heights range from one to three feet. Blooming begins anytime from late spring to early summer, and generally continues until the first frost. …

“In warmer regions, where the ground doesn’t freeze, you may sow cornflower seeds in the fall.

“In cooler areas that experience freezing temperatures, it’s best to plant in late winter or early spring, once the ground has thawed and become workable.” Gardener’s Path

  1. Bells of Ireland Moluccella laevis — zones 2-11
  2. Cornflower Centaurea cyanus— zones 3-8
  3. Blanket Flower Gaillardia — zones 3-10
  4. Poppy Papaveraceae — zones 3-8
  5. Coneflower Echinacea — zones 3-9
  6. Columbine Aquilegea — zones 3-9
  7. Sweet Peas Lathyrus odoratus — zones 2-11
  8. False Queen Anne’s Lace Ammi majus — zones 3-9
  9. Foxglove Digitalis — zones 4-8
  10. Sea Holly Eryngium — zones 4-9
  11. Tickseed Coreopsis tinctoria — zones 3-9
  12. Snapdragon Antirrhinum — zones 8-9
  13. Hollyhock Alcea — zones 3-8
  14. Black-Eyed Susan Rudbeckia — zones 3-9
  15. Forget-Me-Not Myosotis — zones 3-8
  16. Penstemon Penestemon — zones 3-8
  17. Sweet William Dianthus — zones 3-9
  18. Ashy Sunflower Helianthus mollis — zones 4-9 (and other perennial sunflowers)
  19. Pansy Viola — zones 5-10
  20. Love-In-A-Mist Nigella damascene — zones 2-11
  21. Delphinium — zones 3-8
  22. Basket of Gold Alyssum Aurinia saxatilis — zones 3-7
  23. Chinese Forget-Me-Not Cynoglossum amabile — zones 6-9
  24. Common Woolly Sunflower Eriophyllum lanatum —zones 5-8
  25. Lunaria Lunaria annua — zones 5-9
  26. Bigleaf Lupin Lupinus polyphyllus — zones 3-6
  27. Veronica Veronica spicata — zones 4-8
  28. Purple Chinese Houses Collinsia heterophylla — zones 2-11
  29. Globe Gilia Gilia capitata — zones 7-10
  30. Baby’s Breath Gypsophila elegans — zones 3-10
  31. Baby Blue Eyes Nemophila menziesii — zones 2-11