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Fall Planting Tips - Autumn Planting Guide

October 20th, 2011 Gardening

Caring For Your Geraniums in the Fall

Geraniums need special care during the late fall and winter. If your geraniums are in outdoor containers, simply bring them indoors to protect them from the winter chill. Place the geraniums in an area where they will get some indirect sunlight. Next, pinch back long or sprawling stems. Water your geraniums when they start to dry out

If your geraniums are in the ground you will need to dig them up. Shake off the extra soil and place them into a paper bag. Store your geraniums inside until spring. When spring comes, plant them in containers and water them well. When they begin to grow again, plant them back into your garden.

Fall Plant Your Peony Tubers

Sure, you can plant your peonies in the spring. But here's a tip: peonies will bloom better and live longer if they are planted in the fall. The months of September and October are great for planting peony tubers. When you fall plant your peony tubers, put them in a location where they will receive sunlight and also a bit of shade. Make sure their root eyes are facing up when you place them in the soil. Peonies love to be top-dressed with bone meal in the spring. This will keep them healthy and make for good blooms.

Fall Planting of Pansies Brings Two Seasons of Color

Most people think of pansies as a spring flower that should only be planted in the spring. But did you know that pansies can also be planted in the fall? In fact, if you plant pansies in the fall you will get two seasons out of them. The pansies will soak in the cool weather and be very colorful when you plant them in the fall. Then they will go dormant and come back when the ground warms in the spring. Pansies that are planted in the fall will be bigger than pansies that you wait to plant in the spring. Working pansies into fall planting will give you more bang for your buck.

Grow Veggies To Harvest In The Fall

Believe it or not, there are quite a few vegetables that thrive with a light, early frost. Some cool weather vegetables include leafy greens, some members of the cabbage family and root crops. Turnips, leaf lettuce, carrots, peas, radishes, spinach, rutabagas, beets, onions, oriental vegetables, cabbage and kale all do nicely in a fall garden. You can also transplant late cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts in August for a fall harvest.

When planting fall vegetables you should choose a site where your plants will receive the most sunlight. As the days grow shorter sunlight becomes that much more important to fall vegetables. Also, the day before you plan to sow your seeds you should water the area thoroughly.

Listing Of Colorful Trees and Shrubs For Fall

When you think of fall most people think of colorful leaves. If you want your property to be flooded with color in the fall, here is a list of the top fall color trees and shrubs:

  • Green Ash
  • Cutleaf Sumac
  • Apple Serviceberry
  • White Tigress Bark Striped Maple
  • American Cranberry bush
  • Maple
  • Japanese Maple
  • Claret Ash
  • Golden Ash
  • Ginkgo
  • Tupelo
  • Chinese Tallow
  • Black Chokecherry
  • Amur Maple
  • Burning Bush
Before you purchase any trees or shrubs be sure to check out their maturity size. This will help you properly place them on your property so they will have adequate room to grow and mature through the years.

Must Have Flowers in a Fall Cutting Garden

If you are going to have a cutting garden, it is a good idea to have plants that will yield in spring, summer and fall. The best plants to have in your fall cutting garden include dahlias, chrysanthemums, swamp sunflower, blood flower, goldenrods, blue spirea and snowbank. Surprisingly, flowers that are cut in the fall tend to last a bit longer in a vase than cuttings made during the spring and summer.

When choosing your plants for a fall cutting garden, try to choose ones that match the season and fall landscape. Be sure to include warm colors such as butterscotch, orange, burgundy and reddish brown.

The blooming cycle of fall flowers will be dependent upon your area and zone.

Plant Perennial Flowers In The Fall To Cut Down On Spring Garden Chores

Fall is a great time to plant perennials. With so much garden work going on in the spring, planting perennials in the fall can take a load of work off of you when the weather starts to heat up. Perennials that are planted in the fall will take off beautifully because they have had the entire fall and winter seasons to settle in and establish themselves.

Great selections of perennials that can be planted in the fall include aster, blanket flower, cape fuschia, catmint, coreopsis, delphinium, gaura, lavender, nemesia, penstemon, scabiosa and salvia. All of these are hard working plants and they will fill your spring garden with color.

Plant Spring Bulbs In The Fall

When fall rolls around, it is time to put all of those spring bulbs in the ground. These bulbs will be available for purchase beginning in late summer. You should know that some spring bulbs are limited, especially the unusual or new ones. If you have your heart set on a certain flower blooming in your spring garden, start shopping early for your bulbs.

The best time to plant your spring flower bulbs is during the month of October. If you have shopped early and stocked up on your bulbs, try to hold off on planting them until October when the temperatures generally cool off and stay that way. Store your bulbs in a dry, cool place until then.

Late September and early October is when you can begin planting your daffodils, large flowering hyacinths and camassia. Mid-to-late October is when you can plant the rest of the spring cast including snowdrops, squill and scillia, tulips, crocus, grape hyacinths, fritillaria, alliums and the Iris: Dutch, reticulate, and Danfordiae.

Put Spring Wildflower Seeds to Bed in the Fall

Many people are surprised to learn that the best time to plant spring wildflower seeds is in the fall. If you think about it, in nature seeds fall to the ground in the fall. They have all winter to settle into the soil. Planting wildflower seeds in the fall, instead of early spring, will have your flowers blooming up to two weeks earlier.

Many gardeners sow their wildflower seeds at the same time they plant their spring bulbs, which is around mid to late October. If you are having a warm fall, you should wait until the growing season is completely over before you plant your wildflower seeds. A good rule of thumb is to wait until your area has had at least one frost before you plant spring wildflower seeds. Just make sure you get your fall planting seeds in the ground before it freezes.

Spread Wildflower Seeds For Fall Planting

The easiest way to ensure that wildflower seeds get spread over your entire planting area during fall planting is to mix your seeds with a bit of clean, white sand in a small bucket. This method allows you to see where your seeds are being dispersed and it will help to do away with bare spots in your garden when spring arrives.

Once you have hand dispersed your seeds, it is important to compress the soil. You don’t have to pile a lot of dirt over your seeds. The goal is to get the seeds squashed into the soil and put them to bed for the cold months. Some people simply walk over the seeds or place a board or a piece of plywood over the seeds and step on the board. If you have a very large area that you have sown, you may want to go over it with a lawn roller. Once the seeds are compressed into the soil, you are done. Nature will do the rest.

The Advantages of Planting Trees and Shrubs in the Fall

Shrubs and trees are best planted in the fall because the soil is warm and the air is cool. This environment is really important for healthy root development. When you plant shrubs and trees in the warmer months of the year, they do not have time to firmly establish their root systems before they are forced to endure the stress and rigors of summer.

Another advantage of fall planting is that you can usually find what you need at greatly discounted prices. Nurseries are ready to clear everything out for the winter so they can begin again in the spring. So, don’t be afraid to purchase discounted trees and shrubs late in the fall. You can do fall planting at any time, as long as your ground has not frozen.

If you live in a region that has very early deep freezes, you may have no other option but to plant your shrubs and trees in early spring.

What You Should Know About Planting Roses In The Fall

Generally speaking, most gardeners do not recommend putting new roses in an existing bed with older roses in the fall. This is because new roses do not have a strong root base and they will have a hard time competing with the older roses for nutrition. But, you can prepare the bed in the fall for new roses to be planted in the spring. To do this, loosen the soil and add several amendments to the dirt like peat moss, leaves, pine needles, coarse sand, gypsum and cottonseed meal. All of this will break down over the cold months and when spring comes your rose bed will be rich and ready for you to plant new roses.