When F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall,” he may not have been referring to landscape design, but the statement applies to common planting practices. The soil retains warmth once the air begins to cool down, creating the ideal environment for root development. Learn how you can establish a fall planting strategy with the following tips.
Assemble the Necessities
Mid to late September is the perfect time to plant, but now is the best time to assemble the necessities. Determine the types of plants you would like to use and how to incorporate them into your landscape design. Purchase your planting tools now, so you don’t have to rush to buy them during peak planting season.
Check the Weather
Fall may be approaching, but hot summer temperatures can last well through September. Keep an eye on the weather, and try to plant when the temperature is not too hot or too humid. Young plants are tender and need to be planted in conditions that allow them to thrive. Consider planting in the morning on an overcast day.
Consider the Vegetables
If you maintain a vegetable patch, don’t forget about the short-season, cool weather crops for the fall. Some vegetables thrive in cooler temperatures, like radishes and heirloom lettuces, so you may want to plant a few while you still can.
Cut Back Perennials
Herbaceous perennial plants bloom during the spring and summer, but they benefit from fall maintenance. Trimming, or cutting back, perennials will help to promote new growth next spring. It’s important to remove the bulk of the plant but to avoid cutting back on the bare wood. Towards the end of the fall season, consider covering your perennials with a thick layer of mulch to further insulate them from harsh winter temperatures.
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