In milder winter climates, autumn in the best time to plant most garden plants and trees Compared to spring planted trees and shrubs, most trees and shrubs planted in the fall have a noticeable increase in growth after the first year, making it the ideal season to plant native plants or drought-tolerant plants. When planted in the fall, many perennials have a jump start on growth and cool weather annuals and vegetable have more bountiful yields and longer production periods if planted in the fall instead of early spring.
Fall Planting Advantages
As autumn days are cooler and shorter, plants have less moisture loss through their leaves, allowing for a head start when planted in the fall. The soil maintains warmth from the summer, encouraging root growth and growth of future leaves. Winter rains continue to soak the roots and encourage an extensive root system. Following warmer spring days, growth begins, new leaves emerge, and root growth continues more rapidly. The larger root system provides more water and nutrients during the summer months and reduces stress through hot, dry spells. By the following autumn, the plant will be considerable larger than one planted in the spring, primarily due to the healthier root system that occurred by being planted in the fall.
Plants started in the fall are also less susceptible to certain root rots. Spring planted plants have less extensive root systems and require more irrigation. Frequent watering to keep plants alive the first year combined with warm summer temperatures can promote diseases. Many California natives are particularly vulnerable to these fungi and fall planting is especially important for these plants.
Cool Season Crops
Cool season vegetables do better by planting in the fall. Combined with a period of warm autumn weather, the plants may produce food or flowers. Even if that does not happen, the plant has an early start to produce food or flowers in the early spring.
Cool season crops, including vegetables like cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuces, spinach and other leafy greens, onions, carrots, radishes and other root crops, peas, and a variety of other crops produce in the cooler parts of the year and harvesting usually ends when the weather gets warm in the early summer, so the earlier the plant begins producing, the longer the potential harvest can be.
Take Time to Plan
There is often limited availability of some plants in the fall. Gardeners should prepare a blueprint, noting any favorites when they are blooming earlier in the year, as these plants will not be in bloom in the fall.
Other plants are readily available, especially perennials that were started in the late spring or summer. Fall is also a perfect time to choose trees and shrubs as the gardener can view the coloration of specific plants for fall color.
Additional Things to Consider
When planting some plants, especially certain perennials that may be prone to rot during the winter, gardeners should adjust unusually heavy soil with organic matter. The crowns of a plant should be placed at or above the soil level. Both if these suggestions are good gardening tips for all plants, not just fall planted ones.
Keep in mind, though fall planting has many advantages, gardeners should not neglect spring planting. Spring is a good planting season, especially when planting frost-sensitive plants. At higher elevations, It is also the recommended time for planting. Generally, plants should be in the ground at least six weeks before the ground freezes and that may exclude fall planting in many high altitude gardens in Placer and Nevada Counties.
Fall is the Best Time to Plant!
With cool mornings and warm afternoons and a clear, blue sky, taking advantage of this time of year can be irresistible. With wonderful weather, Shopping for plants is a joy! Nurseries are resplendent with pots of colorful mums, flats of pansies, and an abundance of trees and shrubs draped in scarlet, yellow, and crimson.
Homescape Now is your gardening partner throughout the seasons. You can depend on us for top level expertise and caring customer service for all of your gardening and landscape needs. Contact us today!