Planting isn't just a spring activity. If you're wondering what you can plant in the fall, the answer is almost anything. Fall is a great time for planting perennials, trees, and shrubs but be sure to act fast! The window for fall planting ends about six weeks before your area gets hit with a hard frost. Your ideal time to plant is mid-August through mid-October. If you wait too long into the fall season (November - December) to plant, you run the risk of poor root growth and increased failure rate. Here are 6 reasons why you should be planting in the fall.
Benefits of Planting in Fall
1 - Fall has distinct planting benefits. Autumn's cooler air temperatures are easier on both plants and gardeners.
2 - The soil is still warm, allowing roots to grow until the ground freezes. In spring, plants don't grow until the soil warms up.
3 - Fall has more good days for planting than spring does, when rain and other unpredictable weather can make working the soil impossible.
4 - There's a lot more free time for gardening in autumn than in always-frantic spring.
5 - Fall showers are generally plentiful. If the rain isn't coming make sure your plants get at least 1 inch of water one time per week.
6 - Pests and disease problems fade away in the fall. You don't need fertilizer, either. Fertilizer promotes new, tender growth that can be nipped by winter weather.
What to Plant in the Fall
Perennials - It's fine to plant perennials in the fall, especially specimens with large root balls.
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Trees - Trees that can be successfully planted in the fall include alder, ash, buckeye, catalpa, crabapple, hackberry, hawthorn, honey locust, elm, Kentucky coffee tree, linden, maple, sycamore, pines, and spruces. Always plant trees at their natural soil lines. Keep newly planted trees well watered until the ground freezes so they get a good start before going into full dormancy during winter.
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Shrubs - The weather is cool but the soil is still warm enough for root development. Before digging, always check with your local utility companies to locate any underground lines. Always plant shrubs at their natural soil lines. Keep newly planted shrubs well watered until the ground freezes so they get a good start before going into full dormancy during winter.
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