What’s the deal with fall planting?
It may come as a surprise, but fall is an excellent time to plant trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials and cool season vegetables. While most think the bulk of planting should be done in spring, fall provides a great opportunity to extend the gardening season.
So why plant in fall? There are lots of reasons. The warmth of the ground promotes an ideal environment for roots to grow and establish before frost. The coolness of the fall air means that plants aren’t producing new growth above ground and energy is being used to develop stronger root systems. Establishing a strong root system in the fall helps plants to withstand the winter freezing and will get them off to a more vigorous start when spring rolls around. Fall is also a reliable time for rain showers and shorter, brighter days which helps transition plants into your landscape more quickly.
What should you plant in fall?
When air temperatures become consistently cooler and the ground has cooled a bit, plant bulbs for a show stopping spring.
Cool weather annuals are perfect for the fall garden. Ornamental cabbage, kale and peppers, pansies and more.
Broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, lettuces, onions, etc all thrive in the cool weather of fall.
Fall is the perfect time to plant perennials. Plant fall and spring blooming varieties. Divide and move perennials already established in your garden.
Plant new trees and shrubs or move existing plants in your garden. Allow several weeks before the first frost when planting or moving to allow ample time for establishing roots.
A few tips:
While cooler weather and rain showers are more reliable in fall, water plants well at first planting. Keep an eye out for dry weather and be sure to give your plants a good soaking if necessary. Adding mulch to your fall plantings acts like a warm blanket as the weather cools and aids in establishing the plants. Be sure to allow several weeks before frost when planting trees and shrubs to ensure the best chance for root development.