If you're looking for fall color your choices this time of year are pretty limited to fall blooming asters, maybe some pansies and ornamental kale. Planting fall blooming asters now, will ensure you have aster blooming this time next year. The average first frost, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac is October 26, the Illinois State Climatologist Office says October 14. The first frost can range from a light frost to a killing frost. Provided the ground doesn't freeze the first frost shouldn't discourage your from planting or dividing perennials and moving them around the garden.
Here's a list of some plants you can add to your garden this fall.
Trees & Shurbs.
Perennial succulents like sedums.
Ornamental alliums (bulbs).
Joe Pye Weed.
Again, don't let the first frost or threat of frost keep you from planting.The important part of these plants are below the soil surface level. If the roots look healthy the plant should be fine. Once planted give them a good soak with the hose and mulch. Don't overlook the seeds that can be planted in the fall either. Plant seeds for the perennials listed above, and more, so they sprout in the spring. Seeds for perennial plants may need to undergo a cold period before they germinate. Many of these seeds have hard coatings that need to be broken by the freezing and thawing cycle of the seasons. You can manually do this yourself, but why bother when nature does the work for you? Direct sow these seeds where you want them to grow in your garden. Looking for more tips on starting a garden in Chicago?