By: Jennifer LaMontagne – Horticulturist – Bloch’s Farm – Green Lake, WI
Autumn is upon us but that doesn’t mean that your planting season has to end. In fact, in some ways fall planting can be more beneficial than spring planting.
Fall planting takes advantage of favorable soil temperatures and moisture conditions that promote the root growth needed to sustain plants through their critical first year in the landscape. During autumn, cool and relatively stable air temperatures prevail, which is less stressful on plants than during the extreme heat of the summer. Soil temperatures and moisture levels are usually in a range that promotes rapid root development. Top growth is suspended, and new root growth is encouraged when the air temperatures are cooler than the soil. This results in a stronger, more developed root system when the plants begin to grow next spring. Make sure to water the new plants well into the fall. Mulching will help to retain the soil moisture, as well.
If you plant a shrub in spring, it must acclimate itself to its new home and begin growing immediately. At the same time, it has to produce leaves, flowers, and then endure the rapidly arriving summer heat. Plant the same shrub in fall, and it becomes happily dormant above ground soon after planting, but the roots have time to grow and become comfortable and strong in their new home. Then, when spring arrives, the plant is established and ready to put out strong leaves, new top growth, and lots of flowers. So, give your trees and shrubs a head start and plant them right now!
Some trees, shrubs, and perennials are better suited to plant in the fall and others are better in the spring. Those with fewer, larger roots are better to plant in the spring than those with shallow, fibrous root systems which can transition easier in the fall. While you can plant until the ground freezes, some trees and shrubs grow better if planted before certain times. Conifers do a little better if planted in early fall (by late September) because they prefer slightly warmer growing temperatures. Evergreens grow better if planted by mid-October. Most deciduous trees and shrubs can be planted until late fall.
Bloch’s Farm still has a wonderful selection of trees, shrubs, perennials, and bulbs. Colorful mums are also available to complete your fall look! Fall is a wonderful time to plant, so don’t wait, stop in today! Call 920-294-6000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Visit our website online at www.blochsfarm.com and our Facebook page.