Even though spring is the season most often associated with planting, fall may actually be even better. Plenty of plants are suitable for planting in the fall, so if you think you’ve missed the boat on landscaping because the warmer weather is winding down, think again.
Here are some great reasons to spruce up your landscaping this fall.
1. Put Less Stress On Plants
When you plant in the spring, your perennials, shrubs and trees have a lot of work to do. They have to acclimate to their new environment, produce leaves, flowers and even fruit, keep growing and endure the growing heat.
All of this adds stress that can damage or kill your new plantings. But in the fall, you eliminate that stress. Shrubs, trees and plants can go dormant above ground even as their roots continue to mature below ground, helping them get strong and well established before growing season.
If you’re concerned about dropping temperatures, don’t be – soil retains its heat long after the air temperature has dipped. Even in some of the coldest areas of our country, roots of fall plantings can continue to grow for several months before the ground becomes too cold.
2. Enjoy Better Herbs
If you’re a vegetable gardener, fall is the best time for cold-hardy vegetables and herbs. Without the summer heat, herbs like mustard seed and even greens like arugula lose some of their sharp bitterness and taste better.
Some herbs grow better in cooler weather and are less likely to go to seed in the fall than in the spring. These include parsley, dill and cilantro.
Vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower make an excellent fall crop and can even be grown and harvested into the winter months if there’s a late frost!
3. Raise Healthier Fish
Fall is typically the time that pond owners are shutting them down for the season. But it’s also a great time for new pond installations. Cooler temperatures mean less stress on fish, which makes it easier for them to acclimate and thrive in their new environment. Since stress is also responsible for a host of fish diseases, you’ll also have fewer health concerns.
The water temperature is cooler as well, which means you’ll have fewer problems with algae and oxygen levels. It may seem counterintuitive to install a pond just before shutting it down but it can make the installation process and spring startup a lot easier.
4. Make Care And Maintenance Easier
Planting a new garden or watching your landscape come to life each spring is exciting, but it’s also a lot of work. Seedlings and new plantings require regular watering and fertilizing. Especially as the weather heats up, you need to take extra care of your new landscape.
But in the fall you eliminate many of those concerns. Fall plantings require less watering, since fall is typically wetter anyway, and the temperatures are not hot enough to dry the ground out so quickly.
As we mentioned, cooler weather is less stress on plants, which means less caretaking. And you don’t need to fertilize plants since they won’t be growing until the spring.
5. Create A Beautiful Space
When the snow finally melts and spring shines through, most of us get motivated to spruce up our landscapes. It’s the perfect time for rebirth after a drab winter and we’re ready for color and life.
But have you ever thought about creating a space of beauty during the fall and winter months? Just as you expect everything to go dark and drab, you can turn it around and create a colorful, dynamic environment with the right plants, trees and shrubs.
Some plants, like the cabbage we mentioned earlier, can grow well into the winter months and add a splash of color and texture to your landscape. Many tall grasses will retain both texture and color all winter long, adding visual interest and motion as the fall breezes sway them and winter winds lash them.
Even bare, some trees can create a stark beauty through their bark colors and unique textures.
Instead of settling in for a bland winter, think about how you can rejuvenate your landscape this fall to make your outdoor space just as enjoyable.
6. Look Forward To A Prettier Spring
If you want to enjoy some of your favorite blooms in the spring, you’ll need to think ahead and begin planting in the fall. Beauties like lilies, peonies, irises and even hardy bulbs like tulip, crocus and daffodil can spend the winter underground, ready to burst into color when the temperature is right.
Fall is the best time to let these plants root before the growth season. If you mulch in the fall, you’ll provide your plantings with good insulation for the winter and you’ll enjoy the aesthetic benefits of a clean ground cover in the meantime.
So even though spring typically brings out the gardener in everyone, now you can see why fall might be an even better time to indulge your green thumb!
If you’re thinking about a landscape rejuvenation or want to find out how we can create a beautiful fall and winter space for you to enjoy until the next tulip peeks out from the soil, let us know. We want to help turn your outdoor dreams into reality.