Gardening has long since been synonymous with springtime, and rightly so. The warmer temperatures and sun-filled days that accompany spring are a welcome change after months of colder weather, and plant enthusiasts are usually itching to get outside and tend to their gardens. New buds and blooms, fresh fragrances, and a bright color palette permeate the outdoors, begging for attention.
But there’s another season that’s just as deserving of planting appreciation, and that’s fall! Fall brings its own set of planting benefits that ought to be recognized. Read on to find out why you should get growing this fall! And be sure to scroll to the bottom to view our Fall Planting Checklist!
1. Better Weather
Fall's cooler temperatures are better for both you and your plants than spring and summer temperatures. While the weather is getting cooler, the days are still sunny and the soil is still relatively warm, so your plants will have some time to get established before the ground freezes. Because the fall forecast tends to be more predictable and more pleasant than spring, it’ll be easier to plan and plant your garden during this time.
Cooler weather is more conducive to establishing young plants since they won’t be bothered by the summer heat and the stress that poses to them as they’re trying to get situated. Say goodbye to common summer issues like drought and sunburn!
Another perk to fall planting? You’ll be able to plant in peace sans hot, sweaty weather and pesky mosquitos! Why not make planting equally enjoyable for you and your plants?
FGT Tip: It's best to plant up to 6 weeks before the ground freezes in your area. You know your weather best, so optimal planting time will depend on your climate. Usually, you'll want to plant by early to mid-October for best results, though planting through mid-November is acceptable in some areas.
2. Less Guesswork
Planting in fall means less work to ensure your new plants thrive since you won’t have to worry about heat and drought damaging your new plants. What’s more is that common spring and summer pests and diseases will subside, meaning your plants can settle in without the threat of being damaged by those nuisances.
Also, the cool, rainy days that autumn brings will help your plants create stronger root systems before winter sets in - a huge bonus for your plant babies! You generally won’t have to water as much this time of year, and trees and plants that subsist on less water may not have to be watered at all during fall.
However, do be sure to still check in on young plants frequently to see that they’re staying moist and not drying out. New plants will need plenty of water to get established and ensure they’re set up for success.
FGT Tip: Water all your new plantings thoroughly to give them a strong start. Continue to water as needed until the ground freezes, tapering off if the soil remains moist from rainfall or if your plant is drought-tolerant. If you're not sure when to water, just check the surrounding soil about 3 inches, and only water when this area is dry.
3. Stress-Free Planting
Fall planting means you and your plants endure less stress all around. Your new plants' roots will have more time to establish and focus on bigger, better growth for spring. When springtime arrives, you’ll have the planting legwork done, which equals more time to truly enjoy your garden!
You won’t see much new growth from your fall-planted trees and shrubs in the first few months, but that's actually a good thing! You don’t want to create fragile new growth that will die back during the winter. It follows, then, that you shouldn’t do any fertilizing in the fall, as this encourages delicate growth that won’t survive frigid temperatures. Instead, focus on the root system, as planting for fall is all about proactively developing strong, robust roots ahead of spring.
FGT Tip: Don’t forget to mulch! Plants get cold too, right? Mulch around the base of your new trees and plants so that they’re protected through the winter months. Mulch acts as a cozy blanket for your plants when the temperatures drop, creating insulation and keeping young roots protected from winter chill. It also preserves moisture so your plants won't dry out.
Planting your fall garden is a no-brainer and hassle-free, especially when you follow our tips. Take advantage of all the benefits fall planting has to offer, and come spring, you’ll be glad you did!
Grow for success with our trees, shrubs, tips and tricks. You’ll reap the rewards, season after season. View our Fall Planting Checklist below, and for more fall inspiration, be sure to check out a few of our favorite trees and shrubs for creating fantastic fall color!
Fall Planting Checklist
Looking for even more fall inspo? View the helpful resources here: