Fall Planting Tips
We have all heard “Fall is for Planting”. And, indeed when the weather starts to break from the incredibly hot days of summer, we do feel like getting back into the garden. However, fall gardening is a little trickier than spring gardening.
The best fall planting time is as soon as your weather is consistently around 90 degrees or below. Sooner is better than later because as the sun gets weaker and the days get shorter, many plants start heading into dormancy. The goal with fall planting is to coax some root growth out of the plant before winter hits. This is important because plants that don’t get established properly can rot over winter. Please allow at least six weeks before the first frost in your area.
And, while, in the spring, we might grow some perennial plants that aren’t rated for our zone as annuals, fall planting is all about choosing the right plant for your zone. Choosing a zone 7 plant for a zone 4 climate spells disaster.
If your weather is like ours, where the heat really doesn’t subside until the middle or end of September, then some extra special care is need when your fall plants arrive. Here are a few pointers for hot weather planting.
1. Try to be home when your plants arrive. If you can’t be home, consider having UPS leave them in a shady spot near your door. We can always leave brief instructions for the UPS driver, just type these instructions in the comment box on our order form. Do be aware though, that if you instruct UPS to leave the box, and it disappears, they are not responsible, nor are we.
2. Get the plants out of the box ASAP. To insure their safe arrival, our plants are shipped in high-tech cardboard, lots of it. This needs to come off the plants so they can breathe (just another reason to be home when the plants arrive).
3. Set your plants in a spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade for a few days. This helps them to get over their jet lag. Don’t put them in the house. Herbs don’t do well, under most circumstances, indoors. They need fresh air and sunshine.
4. Check for water. Make sure the soil in the pots is thoroughly moist. Water so that the water drains all the way through the pot. There is no rush to plant them, as long as they are outside and they don’t dry out. Check often. Small containers dry out quickly.
5. When you do plant, make sure that the rootball of the plant is completely wet and the potting soil or garden is also moist. The most common reason for transplants to die is not enough water during the transplant phase. The transplant phase lasts about three weeks, so keep checking to make sure that your plant’s roots and the soil around them are wet. You don’t want the soil to be so soggy you can make mud pies, but you want it be moist enough that it crumbles gently in your hand.