Fall Is For Planting
Fall is for planting, here’s why:
The days are getting shorter, there is less intense sunlight, the night air is cooler, but the soil is still retaining some heat. All these work together for a winning combination to achieve planting success and happy unstressed plants.
Newly planted plants tend to lose less moisture through their foliage in the fall, rather than summer, which lessens their water needs.
Insects and fungal diseases that are working overtime during the heat of summer, slow down and start going dormant or disappear in the cold.
Working in the garden is far more pleasant as the weather cools. 70 degrees with a slight breeze is definitely more comfortable than 95 degrees with no air movement.
Fall planting gives a head start for spring, as plants expend energy in root production in cooler weather, establishing themselves to take off running when the weather warms up in spring, and also gives them better drought tolerance.
What should you plant?
Plant any cold hardy/frost tolerant trees, shrubs, grasses, groundcovers, natives and perennials.
You can also plant:
Cool/cold-hardy annuals such as pansies, violas, snapdragons, calendula, primrose and others. All these are great in the ground and also make fabulous container plantings.
Really jazz up your yard and pots by mass plantings of spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils, narcissus, tulips, hyacinths, crocus and more.
Your veggie garden doesn’t have to sit idle in the cooler months: think about planting any greens such as lettuces, kale, spinach, and swiss chard; peas; broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.
Recipe ingredients for success:
An excellent planting mix such as California Planting Mix. Combine the planting mix half and half with native soil.
Give the new plants an extra boost with EB Stone Organics Sure Start starter fertilizer. This will help the roots gain a faster foothold in the soil.
Liquinox B-1 is another excellent add on to increase quick root development and reduce the chances on transplant “shock”.
Remember, spring will be here before we know it, so get a jumpstart while the weather is still very pleasant, and start getting your gardens in shape soon. You will love the results of the efforts put in now. Your plants will show their appreciation in the months to come.
By Mark Erickson