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Autumn is the best time to plant: why you should plant now and what you can still grow!

Fall gardening is often about preparing the garden for winter and raking up the leaves. But if you focus only on leaf removal, you’ll miss a perfect planting opportunity. The cool temperatures and several other benefits make fall an ideal time to add new plants to the landscape, divide overgrown perennials and plant a vegetable garden for fall and winter harvests. In addition, fallen leaves make excellent mulch for any newly planted trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs. Fall is prime planting season and below we explain why!

Enough rainy days for your plants in autumn

Enough rainy days for your plants

It’s no secret that the summer heat and sunshine can take a toll on plants. If you don’t take care of watering and the weather forecast doesn’t offer a favorable outlook for your garden, the effects can be devastating. Fall not only has more rainy days, but also offers greater reliability in terms of the amount of consistent rainfall. This allows foliage plants to seamlessly recover from the month-long hot spell, creating a reliable environment in which some of your favorite vegetables and perennials can thrive.

Fall is the best planting time: soil and root systems.

You have about six weeks before the ground freezes when planting in the fall. This varies from year to year and from place to place, but in some places there is no frozen ground at all. However, there is more than enough time for planting to develop a solid root system before the harsh winter arrives. For plants already in the ground, however, fall means a break from the hot sun. With steady rainfall, less heat and the fading of the drought that is prevalent in some places, root systems are less stressed and can flourish.

Plant your garden in the fall: few pests and plant diseases.

From hungry insects to plant diseases, fall is usually quiet on the pest control front. Many common garden pests complete their above-ground life cycle in late summer, so fall planting has fewer problems.

Fall is the best time to plant: sow a new lawn.

Autumn is the best time for planting - sow a new lawn

Warm soil temperatures combined with adequate moisture in the fall ensure rapid seed germination. Therefore, fall is the best time to sow a new lawn, fill in bare spots in an existing lawn, and even plant a meadow.

Perennials, trees and shrubs: long growing season.

Autumn is the best time to plant - Why you should plant now and what else you can grow?

Fall planting gives perennials, trees and shrubs a growing season of several weeks before the plants go into hibernation. When the above-ground stems and branches stop growing, it’s important to know that the root system will continue to grow. Water is essential for continued growth, so water the plants thoroughly every few weeks until the ground freezes. Trees , shrubs and perennials planted in the fall are usually well established by the summer heat of the following year. For example, you can plant the following plants:

  • Flowering shrubs – roses, peonies, asters, hydrangeas, rhododendrons, chrysanthemums, phlox, forsythia.
  • Evergreen, hardy shrubs – boxwood, yew or privet
  • Fruit trees – apple trees, plums, pear trees, cherry trees, quinces
  • Berry bushes – raspberries, currants, gooseberries.

Most perennials tolerate division and replanting in the fall with ease. Both soil temperature and weather in the fall favor good root growth as plants become established in their new planting location. Water perennials after transplanting, and every few weeks thereafter until the soil freezes to ensure success. Cover the plants with a six-inch layer of leaf mulch for added winter protection.

What flowers to plant in the fall?

What flowers to plant this season?

Tulips, daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops and all other small spring bloomers need to be planted in the fall before the ground freezes. Plan for weeks of colorful bouquets by planting bulbs that bloom in early, mid and late spring.

Just as you germinate vegetable seeds, you can plant perennial flowers now so they can become established and grow vigorously in the spring. By pre-seeding a garden, nature can determine which seeds will thrive the most. So when you sow your plants, it’s an excellent way to see how the process went last year. But this is true not only for seeds, but also for bulbs.

Fall is the best time to plant: what vegetables to plant?

Autumn is the best time for planting - What vegetables to plant?

Typically, most gardeners are caught up in the spring and summer rush to plant vegetables, but fall is also a great time. The window of opportunity is shorter, but the consistent temperatures and weather mean that vegetable beds are ready to bloom in early spring. You can germinate the seeds now and plant them while the soil is still warm.

Put the bulbs in the ground now so a healthy root system can develop. Plant spring onions, which are always the first to emerge in the spring, for early flavoring. Garlic is one of the hardest plants to survive winter , but don’t forget to insulate the soil with a layer of mulch for best results.

Cool season vegetables thrive in the fall days and in some regions even in winter. Most importantly, grow some vegetables or herbs that will survive the winter. These include:

  • Vegetables: onions, scallions, garlic, rhubarb, lamb’s lettuce, leaf lettuce, spinach, Asian lettuce, winter purslane, radishes, chard and arugula.
  • Winter hardy herbs: thyme, mint, wormwood, mugwort and tarragon.