Welcoming Fall, a great season to plant

September 27, 2011 at 6:02 pm Leave a comment

This past week Maymont’s horticulture volunteers gathered to transplant the recently arrived pansy plugs into flats.  Over the next 6 weeks these plants will be nurtured and grown to a size suitable for planting in the gardens. As garden beds are filled with spring-flowering bulbs they are then over-planted with pansies and violas.  For many gardeners this is the only planting project completed each fall, they do not realize the benefits of installing trees, shrubs, vines and perennials in their landscape during the months of autumn.

A plant’s first year in the garden is critical for establishing a good root system that will nourish the plant as it grows to maturity.  Planting in the fall increases the success of a plant’s summer survival significantly.  The cooler temperatures and increased rainfall during autumn reduces the stress on newly transplanted trees and shrubs.  The roots are stimulated by the moist soil and will continue to grow as long as the soil temperature remains above 40 degrees.  In Richmond, Virginia the soil temperature rarely drops below 40 degrees which enables roots to grow through the winter and into the spring.  A well established plant will have increased odds for survival  during the heat of summer in July and August.  Planting in the fall will not eliminate the need to water during the first summer of a planting but it will reduce the frequency of watering.

Six months from now the warm days of spring will beckon us outside, what is  planted then will only have a few precious weeks before the temperatures begin to rise. By planting this autumn the roots of your newly installed woody plants and perennials will have months to become established and the plants will be more tolerant of next summer’s stressful temperatures. This is a water-wise decision and one that will save you time and money.

For professional guidance and assistance with your landscape needs visit the websites of the Central Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association or the Virginia Society of Landscape Designers.

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Rounding 3rd base in the Garden A Fall Garden

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