As we enter the final week of summer and await the Autumnal Equinox, we enter the ideal planting season. While many gardeners break their spring fever by planting new plants in the garden, those in the know will tell you that it is actually the Fall season that provides the most success.
The Fall season provides the perfect combination of conditions for plants to establish...
-Cooler Days: Cooler temperatures lead to less moisture loss and heat stress
-Less Intense Sunlight: Coupled with shortened days, the sun is at a lower angle in the sky, preventing excess moisture loss and heat stress
-Ample Precipitation: Fall often provides plentiful precipitation, preventing drought-stress and helping roots grow deep
-Warm Soil: The soil is still warm from the Summer months, unlike in Spring, benefiting root growth
These conditions allow your plants to quickly and easily establish before winter dormancy. When spring arrives, the plants break dormancy, and they once again continue to establish before the stressful heat and drought of the summer months.
Whether planting larger potted plants, bare roots, or landscape plugs, you will benefit from choosing Fall as your time to plant. Most Herbaceous Perennials & Biennials as well as Woody Shrubs & Trees benefit from a Fall installation. This is especially advantageous when planting larger projects, such as lawn conversions, restorations, or ground-cover plantings.
On Long Island, we often have the entire Fall season with suitable planting conditions from September through December. In fact, you can continue to plant in-ground right up until the ground is frozen. Any plants installed later in the season that might be approaching, or already at, dormancy will simply enjoy their slumber and take advantage of their "jump-started" position when that dormancy breaks in spring.
So, if you think the planting season is over as we say goodbye to summer, think again, and consider the above reasons (or excuses) for keeping those thumbs green and adding more plants to your garden this season!
P.S. When planting this Fall, don't forget to take advantage of Nature's Bounty by Leaving the Leaves as mulch in your newly planted gardens!