With fall now making its presence apparent, many people looking to finish up gardening projects are asking themselves, “Is it too late in the season to plant?” - when in actuality, Fall is the best time of year to plant for most species. Turf grass, spring-blooming bulbs, cool-season vegetables, seasonal flowers, perennials, trees, and shrubs are great examples that can all be successfully planted in the Fall.
Even though we think of Spring as a time of renewal, Fall allows for the roots to take hold and gives them time to develop and grow. Roots will typically grow until the soil freezes, and in the Fall the soil is still warm from the passing summer climate. Plants and trees enter a period of dormancy in the Fall where they shift their energy toward their root system rather than foliage in order to cope with the demand of winter. If planted in the Fall, once spring arrives the root system will be well established and better prepared to handle summer heat.
Root growth can continue to occur even into winter if the climate is still generally mild. For the most part you can plant up until the 1st of November, as long as the ground has not frozen. Pest and disease problems also fade away in the fall because of a decrease in humidity.
Currently, Intreegue has several great plantings designs being installed this Fall. We just finished planting a few unique specimens at our exhibit gardens as well! Our recently planted Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Winter Gold' (Rice Paper Plant) was planted last week and already we have seen flower buds on this beautiful winter blooming shrub getting ready to pop!
If you are thinking about new plantings, installation within the next 2 weeks is optimal. Feel free to email Colleen Vacelet (firstname.lastname@example.org) to help focus your garden. A great place to visit for ideas would be Scott Arboretum located on the Swarthmore College campus in Pennsylvania.