Plant It All In The Fall!
September and October are excellent months to do some gardening and landscaping. Fall has some distinct planting advantages. Autumn’s cooler air temperatures are easier on both plants and gardeners alike. The soil is still warm from the summer months, allowing roots to grow until the ground freezes. In spring, plants don’t start to grow until the soil temperature warms up, so getting your gardening done in the fall will help plants get established quicker and easier.
Trees, Shrubs, Pansies, Fall Mums, Cool Weather Vegetables, and Perennials are all still ready to be planted.
Trees & Shrubs
Fall is an ideal time to plant trees and shrubs throughout the landscape. Whether you need just a few pieces to fill in an existing garden or you want to redo an entire landscape bed, September and October are excellent months to plant.
It is important to remember to water properly and adequately throughout the fall months. Keep newly planted trees & shrubs well-watered until the ground freezes so they get a good start in the landscape before going fully dormant for the winter. This may require hand watering trees & shrubs after any irrigation system is turned off for the season, especially if the weather is still warm.
Cool Season Vegetables
Just because the weather is turning cooler doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a home-grown bounty of fresh vegetables. Many varieties such as lettuces, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and spinach thrive in cool weather and will continue to provide a fresh harvest well into the fall. What would be better than having your Thanksgiving dinner using your own fresh produce?
Pansies, Mums, and Ornamental Cabbage/Kale
What would fall be without the brilliant colors of fall mums and pansies? Your summer annuals provided an abundance of color throughout the season but as they begin to fade it’s a great time to refresh the gardens and your containers with beautiful fall color.
Fall is an excellent time to plant perennials in the garden so that you have beautiful spring and summer blooms next season. Don’t forget that fall is also a good time to divide perennials such as hostas and daylilies.
Lawns and Turfgrass
Fall is by far the best time of the year to establish new turfgrass and/or to over-seed your lawn. With the air temperatures cooling off but the soil temperature still being warm; a fall crop of grass seed will provide a lush, thick lawn now and for the spring. For the northeast it is also important to fertilize cool-season grasses such as bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass in early September and then again in late October or early November to give a boost for earlier spring green-up.
Spring Flowering Bulbs
Spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths provide the earliest color to any landscape but you need to plant them in the fall. Spring bulbs need a period of cold dormancy in order to bloom next spring so getting them into the garden in October or early November will provide you with a pop of early spring color.