d cooler air comes back this is the best moment to plant or transplant any plant, including flowering perennials that bloom in spring and summer.
As spring begins gardeners are enticed to plant everything and anything. However, how often have your gardening plans failed due to the cold, long-lasting springs or early heat waves? A slow or slowed growth could be the result, or the plant may be over-stressed enough to drop flowers or leaves.
Why is fall the best time to plant or transfer
In autumn the weather and temperatures of the soil tend to be more stable than in spring. The daytime temperatures have cooled as well as the nights are cooler while the daylight hours are shorter. This creates a more peaceful conditions for newly transplanted or planted plants and trees in comparison to spring.
Another advantage of fall is the fact that soil gets warmer. This allows for significant root growth quickly, as well as a solid foundation to get the plant through the first winter. An established root system right from the beginning will ensure a stunning flower display and growth in the summer and spring, as well as more healthy plants in the long run.
In autumn the soils are able to hold on the heat for longer, even when temperatures in the ground drop which makes it ideal for new root structures expand. The root systems require time to create new feeder or micro roots that allow the transplant adapt and then slowly enter inactive mode as winter’s temperatures begin to arrive. Fall transplants are more robust in their root structure, and they have time to adapt to their local environment.
University of Illinois Extension
Shop from Amazon: Outdoor plants to beautify your gardenWhen should you plant perennials in autumn
It is crucial to plant in the fall, to ensure that trees and shrubs can develop solid root systems that will hold them in place and protect against frost growing. Roots develop until soil temperatures exceed 40 degrees, and, typically, at the beginning of fall, the soil will be significantly warmer. It is recommended to plant six weeks prior to the first date for frost, around the same time that you plant your flower bulbs.
What is Frost? Frost will hinder the development that the plants above ground, however it won’t end the life of the plant. It will allow the roots to grow into the fall, until the soil begins to freeze solid (if it ever does). Check out our article on the best time to anticipate the initial frost.
Divide Irises in autumn to create amazing blooms in spring.
Strategies for planting perennials during the fall
Flowers in the spring and summer will do best when planted in autumn.
- If your plant is a flowering type that blooms in the fall remove the blooms following the planting to encourage growth of the root instead of flowers or sprouting seeds.
- Wash your perennials’ roots before plant to guarantee their viability and health over the long term. Read our article about the importance of washing your roots.
- When splitting perennials and transplanting them spring and early-summer flowering plants will do best. In general Always divide perennials during the opposite season of when they bloom. If you flowering plant blooms in the spring and early summer divide in autumn For late summer and autumn bloomers, divide in spring.
- Incredibly and thoroughly water the roots of your new plantations every week. Make sure to give them one”” of water every time, even if there is no rain. Stop watering the plants after the initial hard freeze.
- Include 2-3 inches in mulch to the area around your root to retain water and shield your soil against temperature fluctuations. Mulch doesn’t have to be wood chips. You can utilize straw leaves, the leaf litter or other organic mulches. It is possible to add wood chip used later in the winter as an autumn mulch prior to the first freeze. Be sure to take it off in the early spring months to help increase the temperature of your soil.
- Take your time with fertilizers. Perennials that are planted in autumn require very little attention, other than the proper irrigation. No fertilizer is suggested according to the University of Illinois, as nitrogen that is added immediately after planting could stimulate excessive top growth while you’re hoping for the opposite to occur and that is a robust root growth. New top growth might not fully harden up prior to winter freezing, which could harm the growth.