Five Reasons Fall is the Best Time to Plant
I’ve heard that fall is a good time to plant, but I’m afraid my new landscape will freeze and die in a few months. -Concerned in Concord
You shouldn’t be! Last week we entered the first week of fall – the absolute best season of the year for planting all containerized plants. Why? The reasons are numerous, but I’ll fill you in on the biggies.
- For starters, it’s easier not only on you, but also the plant. Temps above 90 degrees can stress both plant and planter.
- You’ll water less. Note, this does not say “won’t have to water, but water less.” Much moisture is lost to evaporation during the summer months.
- The air is cooler, yet the soil is still warm. This means that your plant can settle in, channeling most of its energy to creating new, strong roots, which means you’ll have a jump start on spring.
- Though the top of the shrub may be dormant, the roots are actively growing. Come spring, all your shrub has to do is produce pretty flowers or new leaves. A shrub planted in spring has to produce new roots, new flowers, and new leaves – a lot to ask of your newly installed plant.
- Though freezing temps are ahead, there’s very little to worry about. Fall-planted shrubs have had time to go dormant. Many seasoned gardeners report that their shrubs, such as camellias, azaleas, and roses, flower even better following a particularly brisk winter. The key is to keep your plants watered and don’t apply high nitrogen fertilizer when planting. Dry cold can kill a plant faster than Roundup and new lush growth won’t have time to harden off before cold temps set in. The new foliage will turn black after the first hard freeze. If this happens, just prune it off. Your plant will be fine.
Your friend in gardening,