Posts Tagged ‘fall planting’
Have you ever noticed how poorly some plants do beneath trees and tall shrubs? Tree roots can easily zap away moisture and nutrients leaving anything under planted looking weary & tired.
Rather than fight with it, select from a group of care-free plants that can take dry shade conditions and have minimal requirements when it comes to nutrients & moisture.
I particularly love Hellebores for this. When I planted seven of these early spring flowering ground covers last fall I thought I’m not sure if they are all going to make it. I dug pretty hard to get in between a few tree roots and there wasn’t a lot of soil for me to work with. I added some topsoil, mulched and watered well and to my amazement they all made it through next spring.
I do like planting spring flowering plants such as Hellebore in the fall. Plants still grow in the fall because soil temperature and moisture levels are usually at a level that promotes rapid root growth needed to sustain plants through the first critical year in the landscape. So by spring I’ll have larger more established plants and more blooms to enjoy that first year.
Hellebores is a terrific solution if you have dry shade in your perennial garden. In addition to the beautiful spring flowers, hellebore is the perfect deer resistant shade plant with evergreen foliage which provides year round interest.
“The roots below the earth claim no rewards for making the branches fruitful.” Rabindranath Tagore
Fall planting establishes the necessary root growth required to anchor the plant in its new environment and build up nutrient reserves for healthy & sustainable growth next spring.
Interesting Info on Fall Planting
- Over 75% of a plants root growth occur in fall
- Soil is warmer in fall than in spring
- Roots continue to grow as long as the soil is not frozen
- Plants will grow better in the spring with a well established root system
- Plants are better equipped to handle drought & extreme conditions the following season
- Plants use less water in the fall as they become established
Plants Have to Work Harder in Spring
If you plant in the spring, plants have to do double duty. They must adjust to its new environment AND put on leaves, flowers and be ready to embrace summer heat & humidity. Fall planting is beneficial as roots continue to grow and become established. In spring, plants are happy in their new environment and ready to put on strong top growth & flowers.
Yes, you can get that head start on spring by planting now! If you need to limit yourself to a few fall planting tasks, then consider planting spring-flowering perennials & shrubs such as: