Top tips for late-summer gardening

beautiful late-summer blooms in a container garden

Summer may be winding down, but a new opportunity to garden is just beginning. Plenty of vegetables and flowers can be grown successfully in late summer and into fall, so it’s a great time to refresh with plants that either thrive in slightly cooler weather or are easy to bring indoors once the temperatures start to drop.

Savor the flavors of fresh grown herbs.

With Pesto Party basil from Burpee Plants, you can have your own actual pesto party! Bring the basil indoors when there is danger of frost and keep the plant handy in a sunny spot in the kitchen so you can simply snip off leaves as you’re cooking and entertaining. Just be sure to leave some foliage on the plant so it will continue to grow. If you make a bigger batch of pesto than you can use in one recipe, freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays to pull out and cook when desired.

Enjoy seasonal, fresh from the garden vegetables.

Kale Storm from Burpee is not only tasty, but it’s lovely to look at in your garden with its purple, green and blue-tinged leaves. It can be planted either in the ground or also works well in a decorative patio or porch planter for those with limited space. Unlike some plants, colder temperatures enhance and sweeten kale's flavor, so it can withstand a hard frost or two.

Like a bit of variety in your salad? Burpee’s Gourmet Blend offers a long harvest range, and it includes five different types of lettuces in one plant for a truly varied and delicious salad selection. A raised garden bed in a sunny location is the best spot for successfully growing these varieties of lettuce during the fall.

A stunning new Brussels sprouts called Redarling has a vivid red hue to offer even more color to your cool-season edible garden. It has a mild taste and is a rich source of vitamin C and folic acid because of its unique red color. They stand up to cool nights and frost, so they’ll be popular at the dinner table late into the season.

Add color and a festive look to your porch, patio or garden.

Available in a variety of autumnal hues, Cool Wave Pansies are a great choice to brighten your outdoor space for the season. Cool Wave’s Sunshine 'N Wine is a vivid, bold yellow flower with decorative deep burgundy on the petals' edges, while Raspberry Swirl sports a gorgeous raspberry-colored design. In early fall, plant your favorites in a gourd, like a large pumpkin, to add a fun, festive touch to your front steps, porch or patio. Cool Wave Pansies are easy to maintain and offer long-lasting, colorful blooms to ensure your outdoor space is looking refreshed and vibrant for the season.

To get some colorful perennials thriving in your garden, late summer is a great time to grow flowers like fragrant Lavender, frilly Dianthus or pollinator favorite Echinacea (a native coneflower). Lavender plants can be grown in the garden or large planters and withstand drought well. You can use the florets in scented DIY projects. Dianthus thrives in sunny locations and can tolerate a light frost. They make excellent cut flowers to enjoy indoors. Echinacea colors range from white and yellow to shades of orange, pink and red. All are great choices if you're trying to attract bees, song birds and butterflies to your yard.

Don't give up on gardening just because summer is coming to a close. There's plenty of time left to plant and enjoy the most colorful — and delicious — season of the year. For more tips and gardening ideas, visit burpeehomegardens.com and wave-rave.com.

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