What to Plant Now and Why
Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Fall is the perfect time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials! The ground is warm and much softer than frozen, spring soil. Your plant material will also be less likely to experience heat stress if you plant now rather than in the summer.
The summer heat causes plants to dry out in more ways than one. Apart from needing more water due to evaporation, plants experience transpiration. Transpiration is how trees sweat by releasing vapor through their leaves. Always keep an eye on the weather and your plants’ specific needs; with that said, plants typically require less water in the fall due to lessened sun intensity.
Planting this time of year promotes well established plant material. Root growth is encouraged when air temperatures are cooler than the soil. Trees and shrubs won’t establish much new top growth in the fall and can focus on growing healthy, deep roots. This sets them up to be stronger in the spring. Halloween is the cut off for planting because roots need to grow for about 30 days before the soil temperature drops below 40 degrees. Now is the time!
Did you know there are plants that can add beauty to your landscape during the winter months? Winter interest plants have vibrant bark, shapely branches, or fuzzy, frosted seed heads that brilliantly decorate landscapes in the winter. Some people like to curl up with a hot cup of cocoa and watch snow fall while others want to strap on snow shoes and experience the exhilarating cold. No matter what kind of winter person you are, winter interest plants will beautify your experience during the cold months.
A few examples of winter interest plants include all evergreen trees, which remain beautiful throughout the winter. Berry bushes such as Snowberry Dogwood, which has red, yellow and orange hued stems, and Hawthorn's Holly can also add a nice touch and a little pop of color to your otherwise bleak landscaping. A few options which have good seed heads include different varieties of decorative grasses, Echinacea, Rudbeckia, and Tall Sedums. For a bit more color, try planting some Angelina Sedum or Rosy Jane Gaura.
Whether you are sad that summer is ending or excited to enjoy the crisp winter months, fall is the perfect time to plant!