Tips for Fall Landscaping in the Hill Country

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Tips for Fall Landscaping in the Hill Country

By Erin Baxter

Who doesn’t love a beautiful yard? It’s much easier to cultivate that perfect lawn, those neatly groomed hedges, and radiant flower beds during the Hill Country spring and summer temperatures. But, what about your yard in the Autumn? As a matter of fact, the fall is a prime time to try some new things in your yard! If you’ve been gardening or landscaping for a while, many of these tips are not new, but they will give you a place to start and continue to grow! Make sure to consistently check your flower/shrub beds for moisture levels, check your watering system, and use natural fertilizers and mulch.

  1. Create a Plan & Use Native Plants
Tips for Fall Landscaping in the Hill Country


  • Grab a pencil and sketch a quick diagram of your yard and beds to see what kind of space you will have available.
  • Ask yourself some questions. What look are you going for? What fall colors to you like? Will you need some accents pots?
  • Do some research. Go online or to your local nursery and look at different native plant options. Specialists at your local nursery are pros in this area, and they love to help you plan and create your dream. You’ll definitely want to use plants that are acclimated to the severity of the Texas Hill Country climate.
  • In your sketch, allow for proper space to plant the foliage you choose. Add unique garden pots for a splash of color and variety to the landscape.
  • Choose plants that use less water and establish themselves in the landscape quickly. Smart plant selections will ensure that your yard is ecologically friendly.
  • Focus on grouping plants with the same water and sunlight needs together! This is a biggie. When they’re grouped and planted in the same area, similar plants thrive together.

(Note: plants such as Pink Skullcap, Gregs Salvia, Turks Cap, lantanas, Texas Sage, rosemary, and hummingbird bush – are all great selections for low water use and are fairly deer resistant. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas has some great collections to check out:

  • Consider planting trees. The months of September, October, and November are the best time to plant trees, especially down south in the Hill Country. In fall, trees concentrate on root growth (below-ground growth) and take many nutrients from the soil. These new trees are preparing for spring’s full, leafy, above-ground growth.

2. Use Compost and Mulch in Soil and Beds

Tips for Fall Landscaping in the Hill Country


  • Effectively using compost and mulch will provide the natural nutrients needed by your plants. You’ll reduce the need to fertilize and help the soil retain water.
  • Many mulches reduce weed growth.  Try a type of organic compost/mulches, and this will help support the beneficial microorganisms below the soil level. Organic compost and mulches increase water holding, carbon trapping, and oxygen retaining capacity of the soil. Your plants will thrive in this eco-friendly environment!
  • Of course, the best time for composting is in the spring. Mulch in the spring and fall to protect your plants’ root systems in the heat of the summer and in the cold of winter. Best time for compost—-the spring!  Mulch spring and fall to protect your plants roots systems in the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter. The Wildflower Center has some more great advice about composting and mulching:

3. Water Efficiently

Tips for Fall Landscaping in the Hill Country
Photo: Wikipedia

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