Love Your Landscape – October 2017

Fall is the best time to plant trees, shrubs & perennials. Take a look around your yard—if a plant is healthy and thriving, there’s little doubt that the roots are strong and growing. For newly-planted trees, shrubs or perennials, the fall season can be the best time to plant because it allows the roots to make a strong push into the soil before the coming spring and prepare for the new growth to come.

When a plant goes dormant during the winter months, energy transfer happens to the roots. Therefore, the better and more extensive the root system, the healthier the plant will be during the growing season and all year long. The roots do the majority of the vital gathering of nutrients and water intake for the plant.

Typically, if a tree is planted in the fall as opposed to the spring, it will be less stressed in its growing season because of the head start the root system had during the winter months.

Here in the Rogue Valley, with a significant dry season, there may be several months with little to no precipitation. Another advantage of planting in the fall is the rainy season is generally beginning and once the rain begins, the need to water your new plantings diminishes.

The importance of the first two or three growing seasons for any plant is vital and that first dormant season is important for the roots to grow strong. Amending the soil during the planting process is a great idea. Try to provide the ideal environment for the roots with richly-amended soil. Adding organic soil amenders to the native dirt is helpful for maximum root growth. Remember to mulch the top layer of your new planting with 2 to 3 inches of mulch and avoid mulching up against the trunk or stems.

Another good reason to plant in the fall is that the nurseries tend to offer good deals! This is a great time to start sprucing-up your yard—next spring, you’ll be happy with the rewards of your new landscape plantings and the beauty and enjoyment they bring!