Fall is a great time for planting


Fall is an excellent time for planting in the landscape and garden.

The nice thing about fall planting is that the air is usually a little bit cooler and we tend to have a little more moisture to help establish roots.

Most resources will tell you that for plants to grow their best, they need at least one inch of rainfall a week. Thus, if we don’t get rain you must supplement, especially on new plants.

If we get into a dry fall, this means keep watering until the ground freezes. We have a tendency to put the hoses away at the end of the growing season (mid-October) and stop watering.

A plant shouldn’t go into the winter months dry, otherwise they will dry out. Not as fast as they would in the heat of spring and summer, but they will lose moisture.

RELATED: Things you should not be doing in your garden on a nice winter day

I truly believe that this is why so many people lose their mums over the winter. My theory is that we keep them watered long enough for them to bloom. Once they finish blooming, we stop watering the plant.

The roots are still growing and need water; they dry out and die even before winter sets in.

Or we continue to water and keep the plant green until a hard freeze but we don’t mulch the root system in order to prevent heaving that eventually leads to root death.

If you are planting mums this fall, try watering to keep them green until a hard freeze and then once the ground freezes, cover the base of the plant with around 10-12 inches of mulch. You may be surprised at the results.

The same goes for planting those perennials you find on sale in the garden centers this time of the year. The longer you wait to plant them, the less opportunity for root development.

Care for them just as you would the mums and you will be much more successful.

MORE GARDENING TIPS: Keep hanging baskets looking their best

Trees and shrubs can also be planted in the fall and into the winter, if the ground is not frozen. Again, water, water, water and mulch those smaller plants that would be more susceptible to the roots heaving from freezing and thawing soil.

In terms of grass seed, don’t wait much longer for a fall season planting. Fall is the best time of the year to start or renovate your lawn or to fill in bare spots.

Turfgrass grows best in conditions of warm days and cool nights. Perennial ryegrass for instance, will germinate in seven to 10 days this time of the year.

If you are going to seed, make sure that you have good “seed to soil” contact. In other words, loosen up that hard compacted clay soil so that the seed has a fairly decent opportunity to get a good root system.

Winter is also a good time to seed grass, but prepare the lawn in the fall, before the ground freezes. Throw some seed down in February and when weather conditions turn to warm sunny days and cool nights, the seed will germinate.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Home Garden

Your guide to finding the best lawn care pros this summer
Your guide to finding the best lawn care pros this summer

The “Agony and the Ecstasy” may be a literary classic, but it's also an on-point description of owning a house with a lawn. Yes, it offers a wonderful play space for the kids and a respite from the workaday world for the adults. But when the heat climbs and the brown spots start showing and the lawn guy who signed up in cooler months...
Here’s how to identify (and get rid of) venomous spiders in your home
Here’s how to identify (and get rid of) venomous spiders in your home

Most people aren't too happy when they encounter a spider, and that's especially true if the creepy-crawly you come across happens to be venomous. Although it's understandable to be anxious about venomous spiders, it’s important to know the difference between a harmless spider and a dangerous one. Here are some important tips from experts on...
Mom warns of sunless heatstroke after toddler almost doesn't wake up from nap
Mom warns of sunless heatstroke after toddler almost doesn't wake up from nap

A Canadian mother is warning other parents about the dangers of indoor heatstroke after her daughter endured a frightening ordeal. Jennifer Abma of Edmonton, Alberta, told "Today" that she was keeping her daughters inside when a heatwave hit their town. Her 3-year-old daughter, Anastasia, went upstairs to take a nap a few weeks...
Active ingredient in sunscreen could cause cancer
Active ingredient in sunscreen could cause cancer

There's a health warning about a chemical found in most sunscreens. A new study found that when that chemical comes into contact with sun and chlorine, it can become toxic. If you flip over your sunscreen, chances are avobenzone is first ingredient you'll find. In fact, Boston's WFXT went into a couple of drug stores and found the vast majority...
Here’s how you can get FREE lasagna from Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Here’s how you can get FREE lasagna from Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Starting today through July 1, Carrabba’s Italian Grill is offering a free lasagna deal when you buy one of three signature dishes. Choose from wood-grilled Chicken Bryan, savory Chicken Marsala, or creamy Pollo Rosa Maria. With your purchase, you can take home an order of lasagne for later. This special can be found on their Carrabba&rsquo...
More Stories