After a hectic and uncommonly hot summer, the cooler temps and calming effects of fall are welcomed feeling for many of us. For homeowners, fall is a great time for planting. Of course, you might not want to attempt any annual additions to your yard, but trees, shrubs, and perennials still have plenty of time to mark their ground before the ground freezes.
Why Fall Planting is a Good Idea
Planting in the fall will give your landscaping plants a chance to develop a well-established root system. Come spring, your new shrubs and perennials will be ready to give your yard beautiful color. A bonus to fall planting versus spring planting is that many nurseries and garden centers have discounts on their plants. Remember that even if they don’t look their best right now, planting a perennial and giving them some love in the fall will awaken their beauty in the spring.
Breaking Up Perennials
For spring and summer blooming perennials, (bulbs, hostas, irises, etc.) fall is a great time to split, move, or reorganize. For fall blooming perennials like mums and asters, wait to divide or transplant them until the spring. When replanting or splitting a perennial, the plant should be given time for their roots to become established or at least recuperate before the winter.
Fall Planting Care
The most important care tip is to give your plants plenty of water until the ground freezes. This helps develop a strong root system, prevents them from drying out, and helps your plants fight winter burn. Another good tip –especially with taller trees and shrubs– is to keep them well away from the roads. Many plants have a tough time withstanding the winter spray of salt from vehicles and plows.
After planting a new tree, shrub, or plant, add a layer of mulch. This isn’t to help protect the plant from cold but to even out temperatures. In the spring, the plant will be protected from a thawing and freezing cycle that can cause serious damage or even kill the plant.
Lastly, don’t prune your trees and shrubs in the fall. Pruning can accelerate new growth and kick into production mode. “When you open up a wound on a plant, you invite all sorts of pathogens and pests,” says master gardener Julie Weisenhorn. Let the plant go dormant for the winter and then prune it in the spring.
You don’t need to stop with new plants, trees, and shrubs. Fall is also a great time to create a beautiful outdoor living space. Our landscape designers are experts at bringing together the ideas that will best meet your goals for your landscape. Visit the Land Concepts website to learn more.