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Garden Topics: Start Planting this Fall!

Determine the Most Pressing Landscape Problem and Start Planting

The longer we delay the more time it will take to achieve a pleasing landscape. Looking at the picture above we can easily imagine the lack of privacy that existed before the screening plants were installed. In this case privacy was achieved along with the gain of an attractive border.

Maybe you have a similar problem? Analyze it and take action. Here in the Pittsburgh area, fall is the ideal time to plant all kinds of things from lawns and perennials to evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs. Yet, strangely, when it comes to planting, many homeowners think only of spring.

Why is fall planting so good for plants? In the fall, the warm soil encourages root growth. Roots continue to grow through the winter until the ground freezes which may not be until early January. In early spring, root growth begins again and develops at a fast rate. The same plant planted in spring start slowly due to cool soils, while the fall-planted plants, having become well established, quickly put out vigorous new spring growth... When summer finally arrives, the fall-planted plant is far better equipped to deal with heat and drought, largely due to its well-established root system.

Of course, there are plenty of other good reasons to plant in the fall, too, such as dependable rainfall, cooler weather and fewer pest and disease problems. In addition, many plants are on sale, which makes fall planting a really good deal.

The only drawback to fall planting is that early cold weather can harm newly planted plants. To be safe, plant early, water well, and apply 3" of mulch. Evergreens should be planted by mid-October. Deciduous plants can be planted anytime the ground is workable.  


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