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Fall is for Planting

Posted: 10/20/2017 | Filed under: Malaquias' Gardening Tips

It’s true! Fall is for planting, the soil is still warm, providing faster root growth and giving plants a head start on next year’s growth. Trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs that are put into the ground anytime from September through November in the Central Valley are treated to a less stressful environment due to the cooler temperatures. By next summer, they will have a larger, more established root system than spring planting, which means better drought tolerance and better flowering in the first season.

Plants need less water and have less weeds and pests to compete against. If you have poorly drained soil you may want to wait until spring to plant perennials that require good drainage such as Lavender and Penstemon.

Generally, rain fall is sufficient this time of year to not require irrigation as often as in the heat of the summer. Temperatures are more moderate this time of year, with mild days followed by cool (but mostly not freezing) nights.

Soil temperatures are optimal for root growth and anytime the roots can grow faster than the top, it’s good for establishing a healthy foundation for a plant. Roots will continue to grow even after plants drop their foliage (if they’re deciduous) well into November and maybe even December before the temperatures drop to a point that even the roots stop growing. Once the weather has cooled down, it is also a good time for dividing established perennials, though October is the more common month for that. Also it’s more fun working in cooler temperatures.

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About Malaquias' Gardening Tips

Malaquias Vega, our in-house extraordinaire, will help you become a better gardener, by giving you useful, creative, and cost effective tips to maintain and grow your home garden.