Did you know that the fall and winter months are the best time to plant perennials, shrubs, and trees? This is because the plants are dormant during this time of year, this allows the plant more time to establish a root system before the plant “wakes up” and becomes actively growing and flowering. It takes at least 5-8 weeks for a plant to have sufficient to have good root establishment. So when the weather is hot by the end of May and the recently planted items have not had the time to have an established root system, it causes stress to the plant. In dry weather, soak the roots of trees and shrubs– especially newly planted ones– using a hose, not a sprinkler system designed to water grass. If a tree or shrub looks wilted in the early morning, it needs watering immediately.
Fall is the most important time to feed cool season lawns that stay green all winter. Choose a lawn fertilizer(not a weed and feed product) labeled for your type of grass. Now is also the time to assemble containers of ornamentals for the crisp days that lie ahead. Combine annuals such as pansies, violas, and ornamental cabbage with fancy-leaved hardy perennials.
Take advantage of these cooler days and get some fresh air and play in some dirt! September through February is the optimal planting time, so don’t make the mistake of neglecting your flower beds and gardens when the temperatures drop, plants don’t mind a little cold weather as long as it’s not too extreme.
–Digger O’Dell Team