Additional Planting Guidelines for Fall

We send these guidelines out with all of our customers starting in September – it helps assure successful planting!

Fall Planting Guidelines

In addition to following the steps in our Planting Guide, fall planting requires a few extra steps to ensure good results with your new plants!

1. Keep Watering.
The plants still need to be watered until the ground freezes. With shorter and cooler days, you may not have to water as often but your new plants still need to be watered consistently. A good source of water to carry the plants through the winter is a must!

2. As always, good soil is the key to planting success. If you have good soil in which to plant, that’s great. If your soil is of lesser quality, you should seriously consider amending with at least 1/3 of a good landscape soil mix. Good soil is everything.

3. The plants need to be mulched! The ground surface surrounding the plants needs to be covered and protected over the winter to prevent damage to the plants with hard, deep frosts, or alternate freezing and thawing. Bark mulch helps prevent damage to roots by providing some insultation..

a. The type of mulch used ideally would be shredded bark mulch vs. rock mulch. The bark mulch provides much more of an insulation value. Mulch should be applied at a rate of approximately 2″ to 3″ deep. Rock mulch tends to conduct cold instead of providing insulation.
b. Perennials are best mulched after there is 1 to 2″ of frost in the ground. If you do not think you can mulch thoroughly after the ground begins to freeze – it is better to mulch ahead of freezing weather than to go without any mulch!

4. Stake newly planted trees for one full growing season to help them root in firmly and straight. BE SURE to remove ropes, stakes, & ties after one year so you do not damage the bark of the trees, or reposition the ties to slightly different spots on the tree.

5. Fertilizing. After August 1st, fertilize very modestly or not at all.. When you fertilize a plant, you are encouraging it to continue to grow rather than to start its fall to winter dormancy period. If a plant is continuing to grow and push out new growth for too long into the fall, and you have a hard frost, you may encounter “tip die back” or “freezing green” of the plant. This may result in having to trim back the plant next growing season. Be ready to begin a fertilization program in the spring!

Perennials. Follow above for watering, mulching & fertilizing, additionally do not cut back the foliage on the perennials until it has turned brown and died back. Cut back ornamental grasses in the spring.

Make sure you thoroughly root prune all potted plants prior to planting. (Follow our
instruction sheet). Root pruning liberates the roots for proper future growth. Very Important.
Fall Landscape & Garden Check-up List