You may have heard the buzz about Fall planting, but what’s the deal? Why do so many garden experts recommend planting at this time of year? Well the time is almost upon us, so here are some top reasons why Fall might better for you and your plants:
- Warm Meets Cool – Although the air starts to cool, soil stays warm after exposure to the sun all Summer. This encourages germination of new seeds and root growth, so whether you’re planting from seed or start they will be able to get a headstart on root growth before the ground freezes over Winter. And what about the cooler air? Well, less heat stress means plants can focus on root-growth while leaf and shoot growth begins to slow down. Plus evaporation will be reduced and photosynthesis will be slowing down meaning you won’t have to water as much, which is a bonus.
- Fall Showers – Speaking of watering, the predictable rainfall that often comes with Fall is perfect for soil that’s still dry from Summer. Your new plants will get plenty of water while the soil will be parched from the heat and less inclined to become soggy or overly wet as it might be in Spring. Consistent rain also means less watering and less stress on your new plantings, but just make sure you keep an eye on the soil over drier spells to ensure your plants don’t dry out too much.
- Fewer Pests – One major benefit of Fall planting is that you and your plants won’t have to contend with as many insect pests, which is always a good thing! Do be sure to check your plants around this time though, as some pests like to use new plantings as a place to hide out over winter. If you use insecticides you will want to treat plants in Fall to ensure they stay pest-free throughout winter.
- Change It Up – With the passing of Spring and Summer blooms you have a great opportunity to add plants specifically for the Fall and Winter months. Why not add some colorful shrubs or perennials that will not only add some color to your garden, but will also provide refuge and a potential food source for birds and other pollinators? Trees with interesting limb shapes or bark are also a fun way to add texture to your landscape.
- Plant Some Bulbs – Spring blooming bulbs actually have to be planted in Fall as they need over-wintering in order to bloom well the following year. Grab those daffodils and tulips and get planting!
Photo: Better Homes & Gardens