Fall is the time when trees shed their leaves and plants slow their growth in preparation for the coming snow. Most people think that planting trees, shrubs, and plants is the last thing that should be done at this time of impending dormancy, but nothing could be further from the truth. Fall is the perfect time for new plantings for many reasons.
There’s time. The flurry of activity that occurs during the spring and summer months is over and there’s more time to concentrate on planting new perennials, trees, and shrubs that will spring to life when the snow subsides.
The weather is mild. Warm soil and cool air stimulate root growth. The days are not only cooler, they’re shorter so there’s less stress on the leaves of your plants without the harsh sun beating on them for long hours.
They use less water. The shorter, cooler days also mean less moisture evaporation. Also, fall typically brings lots of rain so if you have a smart irrigation system, you’ll use less water.
There’s less weed growth. Weeds go into dormancy and slow spreading in the fall so there’s less worry of weeds emerging and choking out your newly planted perennials.
There’s less risk of disease. There are fewer diseases in the fall to attack your plants including most kinds of root rot. Spring plantings are more susceptible to root rot because their unestablished roots are watered frequently to increase their chances of survival which causes several kinds of soil and root fungi to grow.
There are fewer pests. Most of the animals and insects that feast or infest plants go into hibernation or migrate during cold months.
There’s less stress. Spring plantings have to work hard to develop roots and leaves before the hot summer months arrive which is stressful for them. In the fall, the part of the plant that’s above ground soon becomes dormant and drops its leaves, allowing all of the work to be concentrated below the ground.
Roots grow longer. Roots have time to become established and will continue to grow deep into the soil where it takes longer for the ground to freeze. They’ll continue to grow until those deep soil temperatures drop below 40°F.
It may be a necessity. Some bulbs, such as daffodils, crocuses, and tulips need to be planted in the fall in order to emerge properly in the spring.
They get a head start on growth. When trees and shrubs are planted in the fall, their first year of growth is much better than spring-planted ones. Roots on all of your plantings begin their spring growth as soon as the ground thaws instead of waiting until planted in the spring.
Earlier blooms give pollinators a hand. Because growth begins earlier, your blooms will be earlier. Aside from the beauty they provide your landscape, your earlier blooms will give pollinators such as bees, birds, and butterflies and earlier supply of nectar and a jump on pollinating. This helps our food supply as well!
There’s no waiting for flowers. When you plant in the spring, you usually have to wait a year before you’ll see blooms, but if you plant in the fall, you should have a bounty of blooms in the spring.
If you plant new trees, shrubs, and perennials in the fall, you will be rewarded with a beautiful and healthy landscape in the spring. Call Bluegrass Landscaping and Maintenance at (314) 770-2828 to plan your fall plantings today!