Is fall a good time to plant? Conventional wisdom holds that spring is the time to plant, when the earth is just waking up from winter’s chill and the long, hot days of summer are ahead. After all, that’s when the Garden Center is filled with flowering shrubs and perennials, as well as brightly colored annuals.
While you can’t deny the joy of planting in spring, there are advantages to planting in fall. Autumn’s cooler temperatures and wetter weather mean a better start for trees, shrubs, bulbs, and perennials. Vegetables and herbs grow well in fall, too, especially greens and root vegetables.
When you plant in the fall, you take advantage of milder weather. More rain and moderate temperatures equal less watering. And when spring comes around, your plants will already be in the ground, with established root systems and ready to grow when the sun hits them.
Planting perennials and wildflowers in the fall gives them a head start on growth the following spring. The colder weather in fall causes less stress on your new plants, allowing for the root systems to establish themselves in a comfortable environment before the winter. In spring, root systems will start to grow once the ground thaws, long before the soil can be worked by human hands and any new plants can be put in. This head-start means early-season wildflowers and first-season perennials will be able to show their flowers sooner!
If you plant in spring or summer, more often than not you have to dutifully keep up with watering during those first few weeks or months. Constant observation of your new darlings gets tedious as the heat ramps ups.
When planting in the fall, water the plants in their pots a few hours before digging so they can soak up what they need, then stick them in the ground and call it a day. For shrubs and trees, it’s good to thoroughly water the soil in the new hole to get it nice and tight around the new roots you’ve teased out from the root ball, and a warm day in January might be perfect for watering if it’s been a dry winter.
With earlier blooms comes earlier nectar sources for pollinators! Birds, bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects can struggle to find food at the extreme ends of the gardening season. By providing early spring and autumn nectar supplies, you’ll be doing your part to support pollinators! This is important in protecting the human food supply as well, as we rely on pollinators for healthy harvests of fruits and vegetables to put on our own dinner tables!
Yes, Fall is a good time to plant, and you should take advantage of the benefits we have listed for you here. At Nature’s Mulch, we are confident we can assist you in your selection of fall plants, so come in and give us a visit today!