Many gardeners see spring as an ideal time to plant - and it certainly is. But what you may not know is that fall is an equally great time to pull on your gardening gloves and get to work. There are numerous benefits to planting after the summer suns have faded and the shorter days arrive.
Here are some of the many reasons why you should consider planting this fall:
① Take Advantage of Cooler Weather
The lower temperatures in September and October make it easier to work hard in the garden and not overheat. Likewise, your plants will thrive without the sweltering sun and with the aid of occasional rain showers. An added benefit of cooler weather is less garden insects, pests and weeds (since seeds are less likely to germinate in the fall).
② More Efficient Root Growth
The long summer has left the soil warm even as the outdoor temperatures shift. This provides an ideal planting environment for roots to thrive underground. The warmer the soil, the quicker and more vigorous the roots grow. This leads to a healthier tree or shrub come the following summer when there is a limited store of water. Additionally, deep roots do a much more effective job of absorbing nutrients that eventually translate to beautiful leaves, fruits and flowers being produced.
③ You Can Save Money at Plant Sales
Many nurseries run specials at the end of summer and beginning of fall, especially on perennials and shrubs, since these are the plants whose roots really thrive in the cooler season. Simply put, when you purchase plants in the fall, you save money! But don't get discouraged if the plants you see on sale look a little drab. Here's a good word of advice from author Constance Casey of Slate.com about what you may find at the nursery:
"When you walk the garden center aisles, the perennials may look sad. Remember that their life force is in the roots and crown - the place where the base of the leaves meets the roots. This time of year, you don't want a lot of leaves. Look at the picture on the plant label and have hope."
Additionally, as the author points out, fall is not a good time to dig up a tree in the field and transplant it since the roots will have already sprawled out and rooted deeply. Instead, look for burlapped or container-grown shrubs and trees at the nursery.
④ You Get to Remove Plants that are Past Their Prime
Gardeners are generally nurturing types of people, but we'll admit that tearing out that shrub or perennial that is no longer working is deeply satisfying. One of the more fun aspects of planting in the fall is making space for the new by cleaning out the old, and being part firsthand of the cycle of composting and recycling that are essential elements of tending to a nutritious, thriving garden.
⑤ Bulbs You Plant Now Turn into Blooms in the Spring
Since "all spring-blooming bulbs need a period of cold dormancy to bloom," planting them in the fall ensures a beautiful, vibrant show of blooms come spring. There's just something so comforting about planting bulbs with the anticipation of something wonderful to look forward to after you and your garden have weathered the harsh winter months!
Now that you've gathered that there are a wealth of benefits to planting in the fall, it's time to head to your local nursery, grab a shovel, and head to the garden! Happy planting from eGardenGo!