It may seem counterintuitive, with its cool rains and falling temperatures, but fall is the perfect time to plant. It may feel cooler to us, but the ground remains warm and soft enough to safely welcome a variety of plants. Get ahead of the spring frenzy by starting planting projects when the leaves turn and begin to, well, fall.
Benefits of Fall Planting
The benefits of fall planting are numerous. The air temperatures may have dropped, but with ground temperatures starting in the 50’s, new plants can create strong root systems with access to vital growth nutrients. Even established plants entering hibernation take advantage of the fall to strengthen roots in preparation for spring growth. Then cooler temperatures also decrease transplant stress when moving plants from containers into the ground, increasing the probability of the plant’s root system taking hold. Typical fall weather also provides more days to plant than the spring with its unpredictable weather and rain showers. The showers that do occur offer a free watering source, saving you time and money. Plus, it is easy to water (if rain is less than an inch per week) because plants need less due to reduced photosynthesis stemming from fall’s shorter days and cooler temperatures.
Fall planting further saves money with the reduced need for fertilization and disease management. Since the upcoming winter weather will halt any above ground growth, additional fertilization is not needed after late summer. The cooler weather also decreases the risk of costly diseases from pests that can easily damage immature plants and new growth. Additionally, in the fall many nurseries and garden centers discount plants and seeds allowing landscaping budgets to go further.
What to Plant
Although not all plants are suited for fall planting, for example warm weather annuals and acid loving plants do much better in warmer seasons, there are a wide variety of plants that are ideal. These plants include:
Turf Grasses: Fall is the perfect time for cool weather grasses. Grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue, and Ryegrass experience huge growth spurts in the fall and spring before periods of dormancy in the winter and summer. (Note: these grasses are the exception to the fertilization rule and do benefit from early and late fall fertilization)
Perennials: Planting perennials, such as: Pansies, Daylilies, and Peonies, allows time for strong root systems to grow before winter dormancy and become established before spring’s intense and unpredictable storms.
Trees and Shrubs: Trees and shrubs fair far better when planted in the fall. Transplant shock is minimized by cooler temperatures and allows for increased establishment before the extreme temperatures of winter and summer.
Bulbs: Daffodils, Hyacinth, Tulips and other bulbs are the perfect choice for fall planting. Since these plants need a period of cold dormancy to bloom, fall planting ensures brilliant blooms in the spring.
Fall is the perfect time to plant. However, there is about an 8-week window best suited for root development and growth. Country Club Landscaping is the local expert at maximizing this time frame to prepare beautiful beds for spring. In addition to advising on location, overall design, and plant selection, we can install and maintain your new or updated landscape design. Choose Country Club Landscaping for your fall plating projects and enhance the beauty of your landscape naturally.