How wonderful to finally be in September! Fall is by far my favorite time of year, bringing cooler temperatures, football games, holidays and hopefully some rain.
As we survey our landscape after a long, hot summer rather than mourning the brown spots in your lawn or ignoring the leaves and uneven edges of your flower beds, take action!
Many people believe that spring is the best time to plant new trees and shrubs. Though spring is the time we associate with planting our gardens, fall is really the best of all. The plants get off to a better start than they do in the spring. Here are the reasons.
- In the fall, the warm soil encourages root growth. Roots continue to grow through the winter until the ground freezes.
- Plants have 6-8 months to get established before the summer’s heat arrives to stay.
- Plants have often been growing in the same containers all summer, so they’re full-sized and ready to plant.
- Plants are often discounted in fall, as nurseries make room for holiday merchandise.
Now is a good time to purchase spring flowering bulbs, while selection is good and healthy bulbs can be found. Hold on to them in a cool, dry spot until November and plant when the soil cools off–around the time of the first frost. It’s also time to plant wildflowers. Some wildflowers will germinate now and establish a good root system through the winter, blooming in early spring. Other seeds will stay dormant through the winter, satisfying a chilling requirement, and germinate and grow in the spring. It’s an act of faith and delayed gratification, but planting wildflower seeds and spring bulbs this fall will bring a lot of beauty and color next spring.
Finally, be sure to water landscape trees properly. Remember that the key to watering large, mature shade trees is to water at the drip line, not at the trunk. Trees are the most permanent, valuable part of a landscape, and should be the priority of all plantings.
Don’t forget to sit back, relax and catch a few Michigan State University Football games this fall! You can catch the schedule here. Go Green – Go White!