There is a false perception in the gardening world that fall is the end of the growing season. In fact, it is quite the contrary. Fall is an ideal season for planting shrubs, trees, and other assorted plants. The key is encouraging good root growth. Fall planting enables the root system of trees and shrubs to grow before the hot summer returns. We’ve prepared a list of “benefits” for why you should plant in the fall.

The first benefit is extra root growth. During the fall, a plant’s leaf and flower production is usually slowing down and approaching dormancy. Therefore, a plant can focus its growing energy on root production. Roots continue to grow when other parts of the plant cannot. Generally speaking, root systems will keep growing as long as the soil temperature is at least 50 degrees. Here along the

Central Coast, we enjoy 50 degree temperatures well into January. Therefore , if you are planting in September, that’s a good three to four months of quality growing time for your new plant.

Another benefit to fall planting is that the plant requires less water. The days are increasingly shorter and cooler in the fall. Plants are going to be photosynthesizing less and using less water. A new plant will always need a good initial soaking but will need less supplemental watering in the fall.

Fall planting is not only good for the plants but good for the gardeners, too! Gardeners usually have too much to do in the spring . Preparing, planting, fertilizing, and maintaining vegetable and ornamental gardens can lead to a very busy spring that is tiresome and leaves very little time for other activities. Fall planting allows gardeners to spread out the work load.

My favorites for fall planting are perennials and bulbs . Bulbs not only like to be planted in the fall, but they need to be planted in the fall. Bulbs must have a cooling period in order to bloom in the spring. Try planting some extra tulips and daffodils this year, or try some less common bulbs like alliums or camassia. There are numerous varieties to choose from with wide color and size ranges. If herbaceous perennials are more your style, try some award winners like Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm,’Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue,’ or As til be ‘Sprite,’ just to name a few.

As you can see, there is plenty of reason to get planting in the fall. Certainly, there are some helpful hints we can provide. On the reverse of this flyer, you will find some tips. Good luck and happy gardening!

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