01 Sep Is fall a good time to plant?
Fall is for planting! Why you ask? The air is cooler which makes working in the yard more pleasant for you and is beneficial to the plants as well. Plants photosynthesize to make “food” during warm days, and the cooler nights allows them to store more of what they make than when the nights are hot in the summer.
Another plus is that the soil temperature is still warm enough in the fall to allow trees, shrubs and perennials to root and become established before the cold of winter sets in. Fall planting gives them a head start.
TIPS FOR PLANTING PERENNIALS
Fall offers the perfect opportunity to plant new spring and summer blooming perennials as well as divide those that have become too large and crowded.
- Always consider layout and space when selecting your plants.
- Dig your holes wider, but not deeper than the container. Be sure to handle plants by the root ball, not by the stems.
- Loosen the roots with your hands.
- Set your perennial into the hole as deep as the container.
- Cover the roots with loose soil, water lightly; add remaining soil and pack firmly.
- Water well after planting.
TIPS FOR PLANTING BULBS
One of the most popular items to plant in fall are bulbs. What a great surprise when they pop up in spring and provide an array of much needed color after a long dreary winter. Plant once and reap the benefits for many years to come. Don’t let your bulbs sit around too long. It’s best to plant them within two weeks of purchase.
- Bulbs like cool, but not frozen ground. October is usually the best time to plant bulbs.
- Plan ahead! Think about the layout – do you want rows, a pattern or random? What color combinations are appealing to you? Bulbs work best in clusters of odd numbers. More on planting bulbs can be found here.
- Plant bulbs pointy side up. Follow package directions for depth as it differs depending on size and variety of bulb.
- Once everything is planted and recovered with soil, water lightly and cover with a layer of root mulch, leaves, peat or straw.
TIPS FOR PLANTING TREES & SHRUBS
Planting trees and shrubs in the fall allows them time to root before winter, but also adds a bit of fall color before they go dormant.
- Choose trees and shrubs for your environment. How much space do you have? Consider mature size of tree or shrub. Are you near the ocean or bay? What type of soil are you planting in?
- Dig the hole 2-3 times wider than the root ball but just as deep. It’s best not to dig too deep a hole of the new tree or shrub can settle during watering.
- Place the tree/shrub in the hole ensuring that the top of the root ball is 2-3 inches higher that the soil line.
- Fill in the hole around the tree/shrub pressing the soil down firmly. Be sure your plant remains straight during this process.
- Add mulch, but do not mound it up like a volcano. Two inches is plenty. Be sure the mulch does not directly touch the stem or trunk of your new plant.
- Be sure to water for 20-30 minutes every 7-10 days until the ground freezes.
- Don’t fertilize of prune fall planted trees and shrubs. Fertilizer and pruning encourage new growth!
A little planning and planting now will make your spring more enjoyable and more beautiful. Since your plants already rooted in fall, they start to grow as soon as conditions are right in spring.
Our staff is happy to assist you with planning and plant choices. Or if you’d prefer to watch us work rather than do it yourself, we can do all the planning and planting for you.
Call or visit us today! 609-641-0648