Fall is for Planting!
By Mark Packard
Now is the time to add fall color to your gardens! Some great fall perennials are Black-Now is the time to add fall color to your gardens! Some great fall perennials are black-eyed Susans, sedum, Russin sage, cone flower, asters, and of course your typical fall annuals.
I always have people asking about burning bush in the fall. Burning bush is a shrub that has a beautiful red foliage in the fall. Unfortunately, they are on the invasive species list and are no longer able to be sold in Massachusetts. A good alternative is the summer snowflake Viburnum. It will grow the same size and shape, have the same red foliage in the fall, but also have the added bonus of getting white flowers in the spring!
The days are getting shorter and the night time temps are getting lower. This is the best time of year to plant new shrubs and trees or transplant existing plants. The warm ground and cool air gives the signal for plants to start growing again and expand their roots.
Plants are more likely to suffer in the heat of the summer than they are in the winter. Planting new shrubs, trees, and perennials in the fall gives new plants two growing seasons before the summer heat. Plantings will take root in the fall and get an early start in the spring giving them the best opportunity for survival. When planting new plants this fall be sure to use a soil amendment when planting. Mix your existing soil 50% with the soil amendment when backfilling around the plant. Make sure the bottom of your hole is flat so you don’t leave an air pocket and make sure the top of the root ball is flush with the existing grade. If you plant too low it won’t grow. If you plant too high it will die. Cutting a bed around new plantings will allow water to go into the soil and your plants will do better than having grass right up to them. It will also make it easier to mow.
Fall is also the time for mums! Mums are a hardy annual that can take the cold temperatures and keep blooming. To get the longest bloom time from a mum, cover them or bring them inside when temps get below 35 degrees or we get a heavy rain.
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