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Fall Planting

October 27, 2008

This is the time of year that some of my clients get nervous. After all, the leaves are turning color and dropping, there’s frost on the ground many mornings, and the nurseries sure don’t look as pretty now. So I get the question, “Isn’t it too late to plant now?” The short answer is “probably not.” However, it depends on what you’re planting.

Deciduous trees and shrubs- these are great candidates for fall planting. Once the leaves have dropped, the tree is dormant for the season. Planting now actually reduces the risk of transplant shock, resulting in a tree with much better odds of doing well. I’ll plant deciduous trees and shrubs all winter long here.

Evergreen trees and shrubs- they don’t go dormant, but they can still be planted pretty much year round. You just want to be careful that they’re still watered in when planted. Just the trip from the nursery to your house can suck water from the plant’s leaves, which must be replaced. Still, that doesn’t make it a bad idea to plant evergreens all winter long here either.

Perennials- This is totally a case-by-case basis. Some perennials fare better with fall planting, and some do better with a spring planting. Once we reach a certain point in the season, though, you’re better off waiting till spring.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to plant this fall, I say go for it! Our area nurseries and garden centers do a great job of protecting their plants over the winter, but a plant will always be happier and healthier in the ground than in a pot. You’re just doing your part for the plants!

Enjoy the warm days while they’re here!

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