Heirloom Gardener Blogs > Right Plant, Right Place, Water When Dry

Fall Is On Its Way: It's Time to Start Planting


Photo by Noelle Johnson

The days are growing shorter and cooler weather is on its way. The exit of summer brings on a ‘second spring’ as hot temperatures go away and people start to venture back out into the garden. Fall may seem like a strange time to be adding plants, but experts will tell you that it is the best time of year to be planting.

Let’s examine the reasons why you’ll want to head out to the nursery for new plants this month.

1. Planting in autumn allows the root system of new plants plenty of time to become established before the heat of next summer arrives.


Photo by Noelle Johnson

2. The weather in fall is much nicer than in summer, which is less stressful for new plants.

3. Less water is needed for new plants added in the fall than when planted in the spring.


Photo by Noelle Johnson

4. Spring is a very busy time in the garden, so putting in new trees, shrubs, and perennials in autumn, will free up time for you in the spring for other important gardening tasks.

5. Plants go on sale in the fall, so you’ll spend less at the nursery.

6. There are fewer damaging insects and diseases present in autumn to bother the new plants.


Photo by Noelle Johnson

7.  Plants installed in the fall will bloom earlier than those planted in the spring because they have a larger root system.

8. Get plants into the ground at least six weeks before your first hard frost to give them enough time to begin growing their roots into the surrounding soil.


Photo by Noelle Johnson

9. Mulch newly planted plants to help protect their root system through their first winter.

10. Wait until spring to add frost-tender plants. 


Photo by Noelle Johnson

So, spend some time today, walking through your garden and see where new plants are needed. Then head out to your favorite nursery and get busy planting. You’ll enjoy the lovely planting weather and the early blooms that appear next spring.