Quick Reminders for Fall Planting
For many of us there is still a few good weeks of fall planting weather left. This is a great time for planting bulbs, perennials, shrubs, and trees — just about every type of plant except warm-weather annuals benefits from a fall planting! Setting out plants in the cool autumn weather gives them plenty of time to establish a strong root system and really show out next spring. Fewer weeds sprout in fall too, which makes maintaining the soil around your new plantings much easier.
There are a couple things you need to keep in mind as you fill the garden with new additions:
The sun is in a different place in the sky at different times of the year. A location that has good morning sun now may be in complete shade in the spring. Know your yard, know where your seasonal sunny and shady spots are, and plant accordingly. And if you do realize later that you’ve made a mistake, take a chance and transplant. Getting the correct level of sun or shade is one of the most critical requirements of any plant, and they will not thrive in the wrong light.
Moniter the moisture level in the soil around your new plantings. Before they have a strong root system, new transplants will not be able to take in a lot of water, and as the weather cools off, that excess moisture will not evaporate as quickly as it did a few weeks ago. Be sure to water early in the morning, so the foliage of your new plants is completely dry before nightfall.
If your autumn weather varies from chilly to unseasonably warm to chilly again, mulch in your new plants so the roots don’t heave.
As leaves fall, rake carefully around new plantings. Resist the temptation to leaves new-fallen leaves in place as protection for the plants. They will attract overwintering insects and may collect excess moisture. Your plants don’t need these!
Don’t worry if your new plants do not appear to grow in the weeks after being set into your garden. They may be laying down a good root system, but they should not be putting on much, if any, aboveground growth. That will come in spring!
Make the most of the fall planting season. Your garden will thank you for it in the coming seasons!