It’s true that autumn is the time of harvest. But for certain species it can also be a great time for planting. Fall is an ideal time for root growth because the soil is typically warmer than the air above ground. Utilize these conditions to your advantage to get in some quick growers before winter arrives as well as establish a strong foothold for spring time bloomers. We’ve come up with a list of four steps for fall planting.
Understanding your typical local weather conditions will inform what you can plant and when. Get an overview of your garden that allows you to understand where the autumn sun will fixate and what types of plants will flourish best where. Drawing up a rough map isn’t a bad idea. Plan to do your planting on an overcast day when the humidity is likely higher and the sun and heat won’t stress your new plantings.
Just because the fall is typically a time of harvest for most vegetables doesn’t mean you can’t plant any more. Quick growing, cool weather vegetables still have time to root and produce edible results. Look to radishes, turnips and spinaches as good examples. To get a head start for an early spring harvest, you can plant beans, peas, onions and garlic in the fall and allow them to overwinter.
Bulb plants that bloom in the spring, such as tulips, need to lie dormant during the cool season of winter, so fall planting is a must. Planting them in the autumn allows them to establish some roots and then hibernate over the winter. Come spring they’ll give your yard a splash of bright colours.
Planting trees in the fall allows them to establish a good root system over the winter and prepares them to do well once the warm weather returns. You won’t have to worry about the saplings being scorched by the hot sun. The extra moisture of the fall and winter will also cut back on the amount of maintenance you need to perform yourself. If you have visions of long lasting trees or shrubs, now is the time to get them started.