Fall: It's Not Just for Raking / Autumn is a great time to plant trees, shrubs -- and perennials!
It's Not Too Late to Plant…Even Perennials!
For some reason there can be more time for gardening in the fall than there is in the spring. While you may know about planting trees and shrubs in the fall, it’s not too late to plant perennials too!
Fall is a great time to plant because nature offers the perfect environment of cool temperatures and (usually) sufficient rainfall. While perennials should really only be planted through September, trees and woody shrubs can be planted throughout October. It is worth noting that if there isn’t sufficient rainfall that year, you will want to water them daily for at least one month after planting. By this time, most trees and shrubs have shifted their annual growth to their root system which will provide strength through winter. In early spring the growth of new roots happens once again before we even see any life above the soil. It can only benefit any plant to be set free of its pot and placed in soil.
Most perennials can be set into the ground with great success in the fall. There will be some failures of course. But for the most part there is success in fall garden plantings. Some perennials are finicky and require a full summer of growth in place before they can endure a winter. Tricky plants are wonders that we gardeners all enjoy figuring out along the way.
Mulching to a depth of 2 - 3 inches will reduce root ball ‘throw’. This is when the processes of freezing and thawing pushes un-rooted root balls up and out of the soil. This is easily resolved by visiting newly planted perennials in very early spring and pressing them back down into their holes gently but firmly with your toes. The root balls make contact with the soil again and they proceed to root out into it.
It is best not to put any soil additives in the hole or on top of the soil when planting in the fall. The plants are going to sleep and need no food. Water is still important however, and keeping new plantings watered well – even in the fall – is key to success. When spring comes, keep an eye to the newly planted materials for signs of dehydration and make sure that they receive adequate water.
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*This article was originally posted on http://www.thisoldyard.net/
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