Summer is officially over but fall is as good a time as any to start a garden. Take advantage of the cooler weather to get into the garden and get your hands dirty. The best part of starting a garden this time of year is that you’re doing for less money than those who plant in the spring and summer.
1. Trees and Shrubs“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is today,” goes a Chinese proverb that is popular on Twitter. This is particularly true if the “today” happens to be during the fall season. Garden centers that carry trees and shrubs in the spring and summer need to get rid of stock before winter arrives. Trees and shrubs that seemed too expensive can be found for anywhere between 50%-75% off regular price.
2. Spring Flowering Bulbs
Earlier I posted a slideshow of spring blooming bulbs you should plant this fall. Look through the slideshow and make a list of the ones you like the most. If you’re not averse to shopping at membership grocers and big box retailers, you can find the more common bulbs like tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths available in bulk. Local garden centers may carry some of the fancier varieties and specialty bulbs that you can invest in for conversation pieces.
Now is also a good time to buy and plant perennials. They get serious price reductions in the fall because most gardeners don’t buy plants that look like they’re dying. But serious gardeners know that perennials come back every year and what matters is if the roots are healthy. This time of the year the foliage on perennials is starting to die back and look rather sparse. Gently slide a pot off of a perennial you want to buy, and if you see a nice mass of healthy roots it is safe to buy.
Fall Planting Watering
As with spring and summer plantings, making sure you give your newly planted perennials, bulbs, trees and shrubs a deep drink of water is very important. Don’t skimp on fall watering of newly added plants. Just because the surface of the soil may look moist because of dew and light rain doesn't mean the soil near the roots has not dried out. In most cases you can plant right up until the ground freezes in your area.