Snellville Landscaping Pros understand that when the air temperatures become cooler than the soil, new top growth slows, which allows plants to focus their energy on root development. The moisture from fall rains also helps trees and shrubs establish strong root systems. Most deciduous shrubs can be successfully planted in fall.
Autumn’s cooler air temperatures are better for both plants and gardeners after steamy weather. However, the soil is still warm enough to allow roots to grow until the ground freezes. Fall showers are typically plentiful, but it’s easy to water plants deeply if it doesn’t rain at least an inch a week. Pests and disease problems also reduced in the fall. Moreover, the late-season at garden centers is often a bargain time that they would want to sell the last of their inventory before winter.
Look for deals on shrubs, trees, perennials, and spring-blooming bulbs, which can all be planted in the fall, until the area gets hit with a hard frost. Don’t forget your lawn, cool-season turf grass can be planted this time of year too. Having these plants in the ground in fall will surely reward you with beautiful color in spring.
1. Pansies and Violas
Because of the still-warm soil temperatures, fall is a good time to plant pansies and their smaller cousins violas. This will give their roots time to grow enough to survive the winter.
Also, by planting them in fall, you’ll get to see them start blooming again when the weather warms up in spring. Look for more cold-hardy varieties such as Cool Wave if you live where the ground freezes. To help them overwinter, add a thick layer of mulch around them once your soil is frozen. This insulates them from alternate freezing and thawing cycles that can heave these small plants out of the ground.
2. Spring Bulbs
All spring-blooming bulbs such as hyacinths and tulips need a period of cold to bloom, which is why they need to be planted in fall even if you won’t be able to enjoy them until the following spring. Many bulbs come in varieties, so you can choose colors, heights, and bloom times that work best in your garden. If deer or other critters frequent your yard, plant bulbs they don’t like to nibble, such as alliums, daffodils, and grape hyacinths.
Autumn is the best time to add a perennials’ collection. You can sort and replant existing perennials such as astilbe and hostas in your garden. Keep any planted perennials well-watered until the ground freezes to allow them to grow new and healthy roots before it vanishes for the winter. Use a blanket of shredded leaves or other mulch, layered about 3 inches thick around to the perennials from frost heaving. When spring rolls around, they’ll be ready to fill out your garden beds with fresh foliage.
4. Turf Grass
Establishing new turfgrass is best during fall, either by seeding or laying down fresh sod. Seeding is usually cheaper and easier DIY option when creating a brand new lawn. However, the sod will give more immediate results. If you’d just like to repair a sparse or patchy parse lawn, first rake the spots to expose soil, sprinkle grass seeds wherever you want them to grow, then cover lightly with compost or straw. Keep the new grass well-watered until freezing temperatures arrive.
5. Trees and Shrubs
The perfect time to plant trees and shrubs is when the weather cools off after summer but the soil is still warm enough for root development. Before digging, check with your local utility companies to find any underground lines. Always plant trees and shrubs at their natural soil lines. Keep newly planted shrubs or trees well-watered until the ground freezes so they get a good start before going into full dormancy during winter.