Spring planting is one of the most exciting times of the year for most gardeners. We have been cooped up all winter and can’t wait to get back outside to get our hands dirty and plant new additions to our garden that will provide exciting blooms for spring and summer. So why plant in the fall? Planting in the fall can be more beneficial for your native plants, especially the trees and shrubs. Here are 4 reasons why you should consider planting new native plants this fall.
1. Stronger Root Systems
Perhaps the most important benefit to planting in the fall is that it gives your plants more time to develop strong root systems before the intense heat of the summer. While aboveground your native trees, shrubs, and perennials may be going dormant, belowground they will continue to put out roots until the ground freezes. Applying a layer of mulch in the fall can also help keep the ground warm longer, giving roots a little extra time to get established. Aim to plant about 4-6 weeks before the first frost, and you will be giving your plants an extra growing season to help beat the heat of summer!
2. Less Stress on Your Plants
The cooler nights and increased rainfall of autumn are less stressful for your plants and more beneficial for new root growth. In addition to planting new trees, shrubs, and perennials, you may want to divide or transplant existing plants in your garden. Fall is the perfect time to do so. Since plants are going dormant, they aren’t using energy aboveground. Moving or dividing plants in the fall when they don’t have to focus their energy both above and below ground is far less stressful than doing so in the spring or summer.
3. Fewer Weeds and Pests
Weeds are also going dormant in the fall, meaning that they are less likely to outcompete your newly planted native trees, shrubs, and perennials. Additionally, leaf-eating insects are more active in the spring and summer than they are in the fall. Your new native plants will be less stressed when planted in the fall since there will be fewer leaf-eaters.
4. It’s More Pleasant
Working in the garden during the cooler months of autumn is, hands down, far more enjoyable than in the heat of late spring or summer! As much as we all love gardening, it can sometimes be physically demanding. Why not make it easier for ourselves by planting during the cool weather?
Whatever your reasons for doing so, choosing to plant in the fall has many benefits over planting in the spring or summer. Check out our full selection of native plants to get started on your fall planting today!
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