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Planting trees and shrubs in the fall might not be the most common practice, but it can offer several advantages that make it a smart choice for gardeners and landscapers. While
spring is the traditional planting season, there are compelling reasons why you should consider shifting your planting schedule to the fall for trees and shrubs, and why it's often better to plant
herbaceous perennials and grasses in the spring. In this blog, we'll explore the benefits of fall planting for trees and shrubs and the advantages of spring planting for herbaceous perennials and
Benefits of Fall Planting for Trees and Shrubs:
- Establishment Before
Winter: Planting in the fall allows trees and shrubs to establish their root systems before the harsh winter conditions set in. The soil is still warm from the summer, encouraging root growth,
which enables the plants to withstand winter stress better.
- Reduced Transpiration: In the
fall, the weather tends to be cooler, and evaporation rates are lower than in the spring and summer. This means that newly planted trees and shrubs lose less water through transpiration, reducing the
risk of drought stress.
- Less Competition: During the fall,
many annual plants have completed their life cycle and are starting to die off. This means less competition for resources like water and nutrients, allowing your trees and shrubs to thrive without as
- Lower Pest and Disease
Pressure: Insect activity decreases in the fall, and many fungal diseases are less active. This reduces the chances of pests and diseases affecting your newly planted trees and shrubs, giving
them a better start.
- Time to Settle In: Fall planting
allows the trees and shrubs to settle into the soil without the added stress of budding and flowering, which is characteristic of spring planting. This can lead to stronger and healthier growth in
the following growing season.
is Ideal for Herbaceous Perennials and Grasses:
- Active Growth
Period: Herbaceous perennials and grasses are best planted in the spring because they are actively growing during this time. The warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours support
rapid root development and top growth, leading to robust plants.
- Budding and
Blooming: Spring is when many perennial plants and grasses start producing leaves, flowers, and seeds. Planting during this period ensures that they have enough time to establish
themselves and bloom during the same growing season.
Monitoring: Spring planting allows you to monitor the growth and health of herbaceous perennials and grasses from the beginning, making it easier to address any potential issues, such
as watering, pest control, or disease prevention.
- Adaptation to Summer
Conditions: By the time summer arrives, herbaceous perennials and grasses planted in the spring will have developed robust root systems that help them better withstand the heat and dry
- Greater Selection and
Availability: Nurseries tend to have a wider selection of herbaceous perennials and grasses in the spring, making it easier to find the specific species and varieties you desire for
planting trees and shrubs in the fall offers several advantages, including better root establishment, reduced transpiration, and fewer pest and disease challenges. On the other hand, herbaceous
perennials and grasses are more suited for spring planting due to their active growth period, the opportunity to enjoy their beauty in the same season, and the availability of a wider range of
options in nurseries. By understanding the specific needs of different types of plants, you can make informed decisions about when to plant to ensure a thriving and visually pleasing garden
throughout the year.