What to plant in the fall. | ALENA KIRBY

summer flags

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To celebrate our end of season Summer Flag sale, we’ve got some tips on what to plant in fall.  Don’t clean your tools yet!  You’ve got lots more fun gardening to enjoy before leaf pickup begins.

Tips for fall planting

  • Once you’ve dug your hole (about as deep as the root ball and three times as wide), it’s time to amend the soil with compost and a pinch of mycorrhizal fungi for better root growth.  Tease out some of the outer roots before nestling the pant.
  • After filling with soil, tamping down and watering well, you’ll want to add a good layer of mulch (about 10cm) that will keep your soil warm to extend the growing season and prevent winter frost heave.  Keep the mulch 15cm away from the stem of woody plants and 5cm away from the stem of herbaceous plants.
  • Continue watering until the ground freezes – ideally keeping the soil evenly moist, but not soggy, until the very end of the growing season.

What to plant in the fall

  • Maple
  • Horse chestnut
Horse chestnut flower and seeds
Horse chestnut flower and seeds
  • Lady’s mantle
Ladie's Mantle
Ladie’s Mantle
  • Astilbe
  • Bergenia
  • Catalpa
Catalpa flowers
Catalpa flowers
  • Hawthorn
Hawthorns will bring lovely red berries in the fall
Hawthorns will bring lovely red berries in the fall
  • Pinks (Dianthus)
  • Ash
  • Daylily
  • Hosta
  • Daisy
  • Lily
  • Crabapple
  • Peony
  • Oriental poppy
Oriental Poppy
Oriental Poppy
  • Cork tree
  • Phlox
  • Ninebark
  • Spruce
  • Pine
  • Hens and chicks (Sempervivum)
Sempervivum – This hardy succulent is great for a cold climate garden
  • Linden Elm
  • Viburnum

What NOT to plant in fall (even if they are on sale now.)

The following plants need to have enough time for adequate root growth before winter; they just need some extra time to settle in.  I’d wait ‘till spring to plant these:

  • Fir
  • Birch
  • Hornbeam
  • Gas plant
  • Lenten and Christmas roses
  • Magnolia
  • Hop hornbeam
  • Oak
  • Rhododendron and azalea
  • Willow
  • Yew
  • Hemlock

Oh, sod it!

The best time to sod

Thanks to cooler air temperatures (that reduce evaporation) and slow foliage growth, lawns actually do much better in fall.  If you sod or sow at least 8 weeks before the first killing frost, your lawn will have just enough to time to look good and by summer, thanks to a well-established deep root system; it will look fantastic and withstand summer droughts.

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