Fall curb appeal

It’s time to start thinking about creating fall curb appeal to celebrate harvest season. Whether you’re looking to spruce up the place for prospective buyers, holiday guests, or simply to ensuring your property is well-kept.

Fall curb appeal is all about making the entrance to your home look cozy, warm, and inviting as temperatures drop and that cool, crisp air arrives. Here are some easy ways to create fall curb appeal for your home:

  • Red & gold autumn leaves on well-kept deciduous trees (see below)
  • Pumpkins everywhere (especially along walkways)
  • Classic mums on the front porch, perhaps in bushel baskets or rustic pots
  • Cozy plaid or wool blankets on a porch swing or bench
  • Fall-blooming perennials, sunflowers, and ornamental grasses
  • Neatly-kept evergreen hedges & green, grassy lawn
  • Autumnal wreath on the front door with sunflowers, wheat, and autumn leaves
  • Red wagons, corn stalks, and even a scarecrow

There are so many easy seasonal ways to build curb appeal to create a fantastic first impression. Read on to learn more about building curb appeal during the autumn months.

Red autumn leaves for fall curb appeal landscaping ideas

Colorful autumn leaves for fall curb appeal

Fall curb appeal starts with bright red, orange, yellow, and even rich purple autumn leaves in the front yard. The best option is often to plant a tree or shrub that turns red-yellow in the fall, such as a Maple Tree (pictured above). If that doesn’t fit your space, see if you can fit in a smaller Burning Bush or Virginia Creeper.

Fall is the best time of year to plant trees and shrubs! Here are some of the best plants for colorful fall foliage:

  • Autumn Blaze Maple Tree
  • Red Burning Bush Shrub
  • Oakleaf Hydrangea Shrub
  • October Glory Red Maple Tree
  • Blueberry Bush
  • Virginia Creeper Vine

Fall yard clean-up

Your home won’t have much curb appeal without a bit of fall yard cleanup. Keep the lawn mowed, rake leaves regularly, sweep the porch, wash patio light fixtures, put away summer toys and gardening equipment, clean the gutters, and keep the garden beds weeded. You can even add a fresh coat of paint on any bits of trim or other places where the paint is wearing through.

Clean-up is not the most fun part of creating curb appeal, but it’s key to the overall aesthetic of your home’s exterior! Here is a detailed guide to your fall yard clean-up.

Fall curb appeal - front porch

Pumpkins on the porch, walk, wall (or anywhere!)

What is fall without pumpkins!?

Pumpkins are a cheap, quick way to create a welcoming entrance to the exterior of your home in the fall. They’re a wonderful sign of the harvest season due to their use in Jack-o-Lanterns and pumpkin pie. Pick up a few pumpkins (and decorative gourds and squash) at the grocery store or a local farm to add a seasonal touch to your front porch or entryway.

Here are some lists of different types of pumpkins to use in your fall decor:

Large ornamental pumpkins for sale at orchard farm market
Fall flower bed - autumn curb appeal

Plant autumn-blooming flowers for fall curb appeal

Fall flowers add a pop of color to garden beds as summer bloomers finish for the season. Fall-blooming perennials, tall annual sunflowers, and ornamental grasses are a wonderful way to create curb appeal as autumn arrives. Your summer-blooming perennials may be on their way out, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stare at blank space in your yard for the next six months.

Fill in empty patches of your border gardens or flower beds with flowers that bloom in September and October. Here are some wonderful ornamental plants for fall curb appeal:

Autumn-blooming giant dinnerplate hardy hibiscus flower
Fall-blooming giant pink dinner plate hibiscus
Hedge of little lime panicle hydrangeas in bloom - early fall
Hedge of little lime hydrangea in september
Fall potted mum plants

Potted mums, evergreens, and bushel baskets

If you don’t want to re-plant your flowerbeds or have limited room, potted plants make great seasonal landscaping solutions. To save time and effort, head to your local garden store to purchase container plants that are already in or close to full bloom!

Potted mums are the iconic fall container plant. Pop them into your planters or into seasonal bushel baskets for a harvest-season touch. Purple-leaf canna lilies and potted ornamental grasses are also gorgeous fall curb appeal choices, especially in the center of a classic wine barrel container garden. For a more full and luscious feel, plant vining plants like ivy or trailing sedum around the edges of the pot. 

Wooden bushel baskets are a lovely way to spruce up a plain plant pot (especially for potted mums on the front porch. Just pop the potted plant right in!

Cozy exterior front porch

Cozy fall exterior seating

Boost curb appeal with a pretty vignette featuring cozy seating like a bench or a porch swing. Make it look inviting with some of your potted plants (see above), as well as with cozy plaid or wool blankets and perhaps some warm patio lights. It will not only make your home look more attractive but can also act as a beautiful setting for a family photo. Think of it as your outdoor “photo booth”!

Here are some nice upgrades for fall outdoor seating areas:

  • Classic Porch Swing
  • Pendleton Blankets, Throws, & Pillows
  • Outdoor Fire Pit
  • Front Door Wreaths, Garlands, & Doormats
  • Simple String Lights
Evergreen hedges give landscaping structure in colder months

Neatly-kept evergreen hedges for cool-season structure

Part of fall landscaping is to ensure some visual interest after the first frost. The first hard frost can spell the end for many herbaceous perennial flowers and annuals, meaning that the garden can look a bit empty after you’ve winterized your perennials and done your fall garden clean-up.

Add a year-round structure with neatly-kept evergreen hedges in strong geometric shapes. Yew and cedar are great options for tall evergreen hedges, while shorter boxwood types can make lower year-round hedge structures. Plant them now and enjoy them in the cooler months for years to come!

Planting boxwood shrubs for fall curb appeal
Fall is a great time to plant evergreens like these boxwoods
Autumn lawn care and maintenance

Prepare your lawn for winter

A healthy green lawn is vital for fall curb appeal. If you’ve been following Home for the Harvest for a while, you know how important organic lawn care is around here.

We tend to focus on our grass most in the spring and summer. But there’s no reason to skip fall. I actually prefer to plant grass seed in early autumn as the soil is warm and the roots have a chance to develop a bit before the snow arrives. In the colder seasons, most grass varieties go dormant, but that doesn’t mean we should neglect them.

Make sure that you clear your yard of leaves and other debris throughout the fall. Our grass is sensitive in its dormancy and debris can choke out the plants, leaving you with big brown patches in the spring. Stop watering and start aerating. Aeration will ensure that your grass is getting the water, air, and nutrients it needs even in a harsher climate. 

Finally, go ahead and lay down some organic lawn fertilizer during early fall. This helps to rejuvenate your exhausted soil and prepare it to give life to your grass in the spring.

Fall vegetable garden growing green organic lettuce in a raised bed along with red trowel

Tend to your fall vegetable harvest

Vegetable gardening doesn’t stop when the leaves change colors! There are plenty of delicious fall crops that you can nurture in autumn–think squashes, root vegetables, beans, and even some varieties of lettuce. If your garden has empty spots, now is the time to plant some easy winter crops or a nice cover crop (green manure).

Keeping the veggie garden going will certainly boost your yard’s appearance. If you’d rather just clean it up, here is a guide to winterizing raised bed vegetable gardens so they look well-kept, even when they’re not full of tomatoes!

If you’re struggling with your fall vegetable garden, consider incorporating a few container crops. Container crops are easy to manage and can be relocated throughout the day based on their sunlight needs. You can grow everything from beans to radishes, garlic, and even potatoes in containers as long as you purchase the correct sizes and soils. My personal fall favorite is planting culinary herbs for the upcoming holidays (here are some Christmas herbs to get started growing now).

Little stack of ornamental pumpkins in front of brick wall

How do you plan to create curb appeal this fall?

Avid summer gardeners aren’t always sure how to make the transition to fall. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can stay active outdoors and increase your home’s curb appeal during the cooler seasons! All it takes is a little know-how and some free weekend afternoons and you’ll have a beautiful, autumn-friendly yard in no time. Try some of the tips above and you’ll be well on your way to fantastic fall curb appeal!

Bin of mini orange pumpkins
Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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