We are well into autumn, the leaves are changing to paint the landscape in brilliant fall colors, and the nights are getting cooler. The temptation to take your tools to the shed for the season is creeping in, but not so fast. Fall might seem like the time to be wrapping up your gardening season; in reality, it is the best time to plant.
Why plant in the fall?
Fall is a great time to plant. There are many benefits to planning and planting in the fall. For starters, it’s good for the plants. As the days get shorter, plants begin to enter their dormant stage. As they prepare for winter, their root systems dig deep to store all of the energy they can before the season’s change. When you plant in the fall, plants can root down deep without the stress of heat. Cooler temperatures are just one perk of fall planting; plants also experience more reliable rainfall, less weed growth, and fewer insect infestations.
Your plants won’t be the only ones who benefit from planting in the fall. Cooler weather makes gardening much more enjoyable for you than working in the summer heat. These plants will also require less maintenance, watering, and weeding—the final benefit of fall planting – potential bargains at garden centers. While everyone is clearing their inventory for the winter, you can get a great deal!
What to plant in the fall
When you’re searching for plants to plant in the fall, consider what you want your landscaping to look like next year, and maybe add some spring-bloomers to brighten things up early. Not all plants are ideal for fall planting; while many thrive, some may not. The following are some of the best plants to plant in the fall –
- Hairy Vetch
- Winter Rye
- Winter Wheat
- Bearded Iris
- Garden Phlox
- Brussel Sprouts
- Mustard Greens
- Swiss Chard
If there is something else you would like to plant, research what climate it grows in and the maintenance it needs. Be sure it is one of the many plants you can plant in the fall. If you’re unsure, reach out and ask – Dave would be happy to give you fall planting pointers.
How to plant in the fall?
Be sure that when you plant in the fall, you do it before the first frost. You want to get plants into the ground before it freezes. The warm soil from the summer months will aid in the cultivation. Plant each variety according to instructions, be sure it receives the proper amount of water, sunlight, and shade.
Caring for transplants in the fall
One of the many advantages to fall planting is the lack of maintenance it requires. You want to ensure that your plant gets adequate water, but there should be more natural rainfall. Which will save you time and water you may have used watering at other points throughout the year.
To keep roots warm during cool nights, mulch around your plants. When mulching, be sure you appropriately cover the plant without dressing it flush against the base of the plant.
When is it too late to plant?
You want to finish your fall planting at least six weeks before the ground freezes. Timing is a different time of year in each area, so consult your almanac and weather predictions to get a clear picture of your fall planting timeframe.
Warning Signs for fall planting
When you transplant something in the fall, you will not see much top growth from that plant. Don’t be alarmed. One of the goals for fall planting is to facilitate the growth of a robust root system. Most development will take place below ground.
It may be autumn but don’t be throwing in the trial just yet. Fall planting season is the perfect time for you to plant trees, flowers, vegetables, and so much more. Start planning your garden for next year and add some spring blooming bulbs to brighten things up as soon as the season changes.
If you need supplies for your autumn gardening project, stop by the nursery to see what’s growing.