The fall season is drawing near. As the weather gets cooler in Georgia, it is the perfect time to plant. In fact, many trees and perennials have the advantage when they are planted in fall. Although many of them can be planted year-round, they grow better when the mornings are cooler and afternoons mildly warm.
6 Reasons Why Planting in Fall is Best
Optimal temperatures for planting
Plants should be planted at temperatures below 80 degrees. With the summer scorching temperatures subsiding, the roots will not be as stressed. There is less demand for water from the roots. And there is the promise of rain in the near future.
Less demand for water
When the roots of perennials don’t need as much water, there is less watering on your part. In fact, you can often get away with watering them right when you plant them and then forget about them for several days. Keep in mind this is not the same with trees and shrubs. You will still need to regularly soak the roots of trees and shrubs for the first few weeks so they can get established.
No rush to get it in the ground
There are two very good reasons why gardeners love to plant in fall. There is a longer period and far more “good days” for planting in the fall compared to the unpredictable weather in spring. Since the days are cooler in general, you have more time to spend outside. There is no more rush to get all your work done before it gets too hot. Even the evenings are nice to plant. And unlike the summertime when you have to get a plant in the ground as soon as possible, in the fall you can wait a few days or maybe even a few weeks to plant it.
Less requirements for growth
Deciduous trees lose their leaves and ornamental perennials go dormant in fall. This is actually a benefit to new plantings. Leaves and flowers require more food and water to generate growth during the spring and summer months. As trees and plants go dormant, their roots continue to grow but there are not as many requirements for growth until spring. Therefore, the plants can concentrate their energy on the roots so they will be ready to go full force come spring.
Easier weed control
Weeds also go dormant in the fall so you won’t be constantly fighting them while trying to plant. In the spring, you have to till an area and plant seeds that day. With weeds being in high growth mode, they can too easily get a jump on your seeds and compete for the space. In contrast in the fall, you can wait a week or so after you till to get your seeds in the ground without worrying about the weeds.
Required wintering period
Fall planting bulbs such as daffodils, crocus, tulips, and hyacinths and iris need a certain amount of wintering-over time to provide gorgeous, cheerful spring blooms. They need to be planted in the ground before the first hard frost and then require several weeks of cold weather in order to form roots.
In East Metro Atlanta, gardeners have the advantage of a long fall planting season when they can plant well into December. By planting in fall, they have a stress-free jump on the spring growing season. They can even plant many perennials, trees and shrubs year-round during warmer winters. To learn more about gardening and get tips from experts, plan to attend the East Metro Home & Garden Show on April 23, 2018.