Fall Gardening 101
Temperatures are dropping in the high
country, and gardening can feel like something of the past with the cooler weather. However, there are many benefits to gardening in the fall! We've asked our team members for insight into all the fall gardening tips and tricks! Here are some suggestions to help you get started this fall!
Why plant in the Fall?
• Still-warm soil promotes good root growth.
• Cool weather eliminates the threat of heat stress on new plants.
• Increased rains help plants establish more robust root systems before winter.
• Many pests and diseases that plague gardens in spring and summer aren't as big of a threat in fall.
What to plant:
Fall planting of trees, shrubs, and perennials offers several advantages over spring planting. The cooler temperatures are easier on the plants, so they are less likely to suffer from heat stress, especially in warmer climates. When the air temperatures become cooler than the soil, new top growth slows, allowing plants to focus their energy on root development in the still-warm soil. The moisture from fall rains also helps trees and shrubs establish strong root systems.
Most deciduous shrubs can be successfully planted in the fall. Spring-blooming broad-leafed evergreens, such as rhododendrons and azaleas, also prefer fall or early spring planting.
When to plant:
For trees, shrubs, and perennials, allow at least four to six weeks before the ground freezes to give them enough time to become established. If you wait until the tail end of the fall season to plant (November or December), you run the risk of poor root growth. Do not fertilize in the fall.
In addition to planting new shrubs and trees, fall is the best time to divide or move perennials that need more growing room, especially those that bloom in the spring or summer, such as daylilies, bearded iris, peonies, and garden phlox. Divide and move perennials at least several weeks before the average date of the first hard frost in your area so your plants have time to recover from transplant shock and establish new roots.
For more information on fall planting, check out this article on Autumn Planting from Garden Design.