Planning Fall Planting

Spring is the time most of us are out parading to and from garden centers and working tirelessly in our flowerbeds. As Fall approaches keep in mind that now is also a prime garden care season. In fact, fall is a great time to plant most trees, many perennials and spring flowering bulbs. And with a smaller demand at the garden centers you might save a little money on plants and supplies, too.

Here are a few projects that are ideal for fall:

Plant or Move Trees and Shrubs

Cooler temperatures protect roots from scorching, allowing them to take hold.

An important step in planting trees is identifying a quality site with plenty of sun and room for the roots to grow. Make sure to plant at the right depth, too — the new location should be no deeper than the previous, or your tree will become stressed, leaving it susceptible to disease and pests.

After your tree has been planted, water it regularly for three months. If you’re in a colder zone, water until the ground freezes.

Divide and Plant Perennials

Divide and plant your perennials, and take advantage of sale prices as nurseries clear out their stock.

Planting perennials in the fall may actually enhance the plants as the cooler temperatures help them get used to their new homes. Roots do not have to balance new growth like in the spring or deal with punishing weather like in the summer.

However, fall is not the ideal time to plant fall-blooming perennials, such as chrysanthemums, aster or goldenrod.

Plant Hardy, Spring-Blooming Bulbs

Bulbs are an ideal project for fall — easy to plant and almost guaranteed to reward you in early spring. Learn more about buying and planting bulbs before venturing to your garden center.

Before you plant, make sure to thoroughly prepare your soil, loosening it, removing weeds and debris, and adding some organic matter like peat moss, compost or other material to help new plants take hold and improve drainage. If the soil looks good, you may want to wait to fertilize until the spring, when a slow-release fertilizer applied early can get to work while plants wake up and start to push through the new earth.

Take advantage of cooler days and better prices and keep gardening well into the fall season. Come spring, you’ll be glad you did.