We say it every year…Fall is for Planting!
There are a number of reasons why Fall is the best time to plant or transplant your favorite shrub or perennial as well as to establish or rejuvenate your lawn.
From September to November, the soil is still warm, we generally get sufficient rainfall and the air temperature cools. Plants put their effort into root establishment instead of top growth, followed by the resting dormancy of winter. Planting or moving your plants in Fall means better root establishment plus it’s less stressful on the plant.
Feeding your plants in the Fall can be a big benefit. Even though air temperatures are dropping, soil temperatures remain warm enough for roots to take in the fertilizer, giving your plants a jump-start on next year’s growing season. This goes for your grass as well so don’t skip the Fall feeding!
Fall is also an ideal time for controlling weeds. Winter annual weeds like henbit germinate and establish in the Fall (long before you see them in Spring) so Fall is the best time to control them. Perennial weeds like dandelions or broadleaf plantain are more vulnerable in the Fall. Like trees, they are sending food reserves to the root system. When you apply weed controls in the Fall, they translocate more effectively into the root system for a better total kill versus a top kill only like you get in Spring.
Mid August to October is a great time to take care of your lawn to ensure its success for the next year. September is a good time for seeding because air temperatures are cooler but the soil remains warm, which encourages root growth. Your turf will focus on establishment as opposed to top growth like it does in spring and summer.
We can’t forget about Spring Flowering Bulbs! You can plant them from September until the ground freezes. Dig, drop, and done. When the Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths, Allium, Crocus and more bloom next Spring, you’ll be glad you invested the time this Fall.
Looking to add some color to your garden as your Summer blooms start to fade? Hardy Mums are a great choice (they are Fall’s favorite flower!). There are also Fall annuals like Pansies and Ornamental Kale, which can handle the cooler temperatures and shorter days while adding that ‘pop’ of color and interest. Pansies will even tolerate frost and bloom both this Fall and again next Spring.