British Columbia

Master gardener Brian Minter's tips for the fall season

How to keep your garden looking vibrant — and productive — through the cold season.

You can keep your garden looking vibrant — but you'll have to make the colour switch

Master gardener Brian Minter says the fall is a great opportunity for vibrancy in your garden — you just have to make the colour switch. (The Associated Press)

The summer is ending, and for gardeners it's just about time to wave goodbye to the season's vibrant greens.

But that doesn't mean you can't have color in your garden throughout the colder climes.

Master gardener Brian Minter recently sat down with B.C. Almanac guest host Andrew Chang to discuss how to make the most out of your fall garden.

"When we get into that real dull weather, we will totally appreciate the color that we put into it," said Minter.

Minter offered three tips — and a lot of other helpful advice — on how to take advantage of the season.

The colour switch

First and foremost: make the colour switch.

"Using things like foliage — anything that has colourful stems, interesting leaves, yellows, oranges and bright colours that are going to be with us throughout the winter time," Minter said.

The most popular plant entering the fall and through the winter will be winter flowering heather, he says, which will flower for several months during the cold season.

Heathers can bring a variety of pinks, reds and oranges that will brighten up your garden through the winter. For tips on how to cultivate them, you can visit Minter's website.

Minter expects the winter flowering heather to be the most popular fall garden selection this year. (Flower Meaning)

Get your garlic in!

There's only a couple of weeks left to get your garlic in the ground, but the sooner the better, says Minter.

There are quite a few varieties to choose from.

"In most garden stores, they're carrying a wide selection — up to 15 or 20 varieties today. But I have to say, from a lot of the growers that we talk to, the Red Russian seems to be the dominant, care-free, idiot-proof variety for me that just seems to perform well," said Minter.

Plant them three times the width of the bulb deep — roughly three inches — in very well-drained soil.

The fall is a great season to get your garlic growing — but the clock is ticking! (CBC)

Don't forget fast food

Minter says it's the perfect time to get your lettuce crops in — spinach, romaine, butter, and the like. They'll grow fast in the fall temperatures, so try to get a few crops in before it really gets too cold.

With files from CBC's BC Almanac

To listen to the full interview, click on the audio labelled: Master gardener Brian Minter shares tips on how to get your garden ready for the fall