Seasonal Considerations

Maximizing Growth: The Benefits of Planting in the Fall


As the crisp autumn breeze sweeps in, many gardeners might consider retiring their gardening gloves for the year. However, fall is a wonderful time to contemplate the planting of dormant trees, shrubs and even perennial plants! In this article, we will delve into the advantages of fall planting and enlighten why this season is prime time to introduce these species into your landscape. Included are essential tips to ensure your perennials and woodies thrive!

The Benefits of Fall Planting

Root Development: Fall planting allows trees, shrubs, and perennials to prioritize root development over top growth. With the soil retaining warmth from the summer and cooler air temperatures, it creates an optimal environment for fostering robust root systems.

Water Efficiency: Fall offers reduced evaporation and lower water stress compared to the sweltering summer months. Planting during this season conserves water while providing adequate moisture for newly planted species, diminishing the risk of drought-related stress.

Pest Reduction: Many pests and diseases are less active during the fall. By planting in the fall, you provide your woodies, shrubs, and perennials a head start in establishing themselves before potential threats reemerge in the spring.

Why Fall Plantings Work!

During the fall, woodies and perennials enter dormancy, ceasing active growth to conserve energy. This allows them to adapt to their surroundings and prepare for winter without expending energy on developing leaves or branches. Despite the cooling air temperatures, the soil beneath retains the warmth accumulated throughout the summer. This favorable soil temperature promotes root growth, facilitating the plant’s establishment well in advance of the approaching winter season. Predictable rainfall patterns make it easier to water newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials without risking overwatering or underwatering.

Tips for Planting in Fall

To maximize the growth of your perennials and woodies in the fall, here are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Choose plants with full, well-established, active growing root systems. Our plants are an excellent example, both because of the fullness of their roots and because the RootMaker containers ensure that the roots are actively growing until they go dormant.
  • Plant Perennials early enough in the fall that roots will have time to begin to establish before the first killing frost (approximately 3 weeks minimum). Trees and Shrubs can be planted year around! 
  • To maintain more even soil temperatures throughout the winter and prevent frost heave, consider mulching your plants.

By following these tips, you’ll give your woody species and perennials the best chance to thrive when planted in the fall. With proper root development and winter preparation, your landscape will flourish with vibrant colors and healthy growth in the coming seasons.

Happy Planting!