In regions such as ours where winters are distinct, fall heralds the close of the growing season. The last of the seasonal crops are ready to be harvested, foliage changes to brilliant colors of red and gold and berries that will provide winter food for the wildlife begin to ripen. Fall also provides a final burst of color as an encore to summer’s display.
Fall is for planting many shrubs, trees and perennials as well as young, flowering bulbs. Tulips, daffodils, crocus, hyacinths and hundreds of other flowers in thousands of color combinations are waiting to be planted to herald the arrival of spring.
Fall is not only a reason to enjoy nature’s final color palette, but is also the ideal time of the year to plant for next season’s display. Most shrubs, trees and perennials benefit from fall planting. Cooler air temperature, warm soil, and adequate rainfall provide ideal conditions for planting. When plants are not putting out new growth, their energy is used to increase root area. Generally, roots will keep growing until the soil temperature gets down to around 40 degrees (which normally does not happen until mid December.) These conditions provide less stress for the plants and stimulate vigorous growth the following spring.
Once you've planted new trees and shrubs, provide a root stimulant such as Esbenshade’s Root Stimulator and an ample supply of water. Watering should be done thoroughly and deeply to encourage root formation deep into the soil. Provide a 2”– 3” layer of mulch after planting. Mulch will enhance the planting appearance, keep down weeds, conserve water, provide a consistent soil temperature and prevent root damage throughout the upcoming winter months.