When considering planting trees and shrubs, people often ask whether they need to wait until spring. The answer is no. There are many reasons to consider planting in the fall over planting in the spring—and the biggest reason is roots! Spring plantings give us the instant gratification of watching our plants put out new leaves and stem growth, but they require extra care and watering. Healthy root growth, not foliage growth, is what helps your plant acclimate to its new environment, and 80% of root growth occurs in late summer and fall. Ilex, or holly, is an exception. Since it is a slow grower, it is best to plant in the spring.
Soil temperatures are warmer in the fall than they are in the spring, and as air temperatures drop, your tree stops growing foliage and begins putting its energy into root growth. Lower air temperatures also reduce the risk of pests, fungus, and weeds.
To prepare your new plant for the winter, be sure to amend your soil with compost and mulch it to retain moisture and insulate the roots. Water as needed, tapering off as the soil starts to freeze in late November. In the spring, when air temperatures are consistently above 45-50 degrees, resume watering as required based on the plant.
Rather than paying full price for a plant in the spring, shop fall sales and take the stress out of planting!
Need help getting started planting in the fall? Come visit us at 229 Seymour Rd. in Woodbridge Connecticut. Our staff is very knowledgeable and we can assist in helping you start your garden in the fall!