As gardeners we have an opportunity to be a little more in tune to the changes and happenings as the seasons change. Migrating birds, the coming and going of pesky insects, clouds of pollen, budding, blooming, and eventually, seeding are all things that pass under the nose of the ever-observant gardener. Watching nature can teach you so much about your own garden. One of the biggest questions we get is, “when do I plant this?” The answer for most shrubs, trees, bulbs, and perennials will almost always be: “in the fall.”
Wildflowers, trees, and shrubs all seed in the fall in nature- the summer is filled with fruit and blooms, but the seeds don’t hit the ground until fall. They spend the winter dormant and sprout up right on time in the spring. This works just as well with bulbs and bare-root plants shipped in the fall. They spend their dormant period searching the ground with their roots, slowly becoming established, and they will have a huge leap on any plants planted in the spring.
It is not necessary to plant in the fall, most plants will do just fine as long as the ground isn’t frozen, but the fall planting season is ideal for most varieties. You will have earlier blooms and more productive plants in the following spring and summer.