There are so many reasons to love planting in the fall.
The weather is cooler and the ground temperature is still warm, helping new plants establish roots. We get plenty of rain in October and November so there is no need to haul out the hoses. There are fewer bugs and weeds to contend with. Fall is basically a bonus growing season, allowing plants to get a head start before spring season begins.
This time of year, I like to fill in spots where the summer blooms have faded with mums, ornamental cabbage, kale and even pansies. Many people think of pansies as a spring flower, but you can get two seasons out of them if you plant them now. They love the cool weather and will lie dormant through most of the winter but will pop back up on warm days.
Black-eyed Susans—Rudbeckia—have had a banner year in 2021, so if you don’t already have some of these beauties in your garden, plant them now. They come in a variety of orange, yellow, red and bronze shades, have long-lasting flowers and are deer-resistant. Sedums and Asters are other good fall plantings.
There is no reason for letting your vegetable garden go dormant in the fall—salad greens like lettuce, kale, spinach and arugula do beautifully in the colder months. You can also plant broccoli, Brussels sprouts, radishes and turnips and harvest fresh vegetables into December.
Trees also benefit from fall planting. The cooler temperatures and shorter days alert them to send resources to their roots in preparation for the winter. The roots will continue to grow until the ground freezes, resulting in a stronger, more developed root system when leaves emerge in the spring.
Thinking about renovating your lawn? Now is the time to put down new seed as the warm soil and cool air are ideal for establishing new grass. It is also the best time to feed your existing lawn, which should be fertilized several times a year. Using a low nitrogen fertilizer in late October early November will strengthen the roots and crowns of your grass and get your lawn off to an early and strong start in the spring.
Our advice: Get out and enjoy this beautiful weather, improve your gardens and get a jump on next spring!
It is time to wrap your shade trees! The deer are rubbing and they can severely damage young trees, especially small caliper trees, those less than 8” in trunk diameter.