If you’ve missed out on spring planting this season, we have some good news for you – fall planting is here!
With that, we wanted to provide you with some key information on the benefits of fall planting, the risks, and a few good rules of thumb if you are considering planting during the fall. Take a look at the information below to learn more.
Benefits of Fall Planting:
There are several benefits when it comes to fall planting. They include:
- Cooler Weather: Once you start entering into the fall months, you start having slightly cooler temperatures. Not only does this serve as a benefit for those who are planting, but this also helps the plants as they will most likely be avoiding the scorching sun as they establish their root systems.
- More Consistent Rainfall: When planting in the fall, you can most likely expect a more consistent rainfall. When you plant in the spring, your seedlings head straight into summer which can sometimes go 2-3 weeks before rain is predicted in the weather forecast.
However, if you’re considering planting during the fall season, you should also be aware of the risks associated with fall planting.
Risks of Fall Planting:
Below are the top 3 risks when it comes to planting seedlings during the fall:
- Soil Temperature: If you plant your seedlings when your soil is not the ideal temperature, it could harm your seedlings. When you plant in the fall, you are planting seedlings as they head into dormancy. During this time, seedlings work hard to absorb all the nutrients and moisture they can to prepare for dormancy. However, if your soil is too cold when you plant your seedlings, the roots not be able to establish themselves, and they will be unable to bring in a sufficient amount of nutrients and moisture they need to effectively go into dormancy.
- Unpredictable Weather: Fall can sometimes be unpredictable when it comes to the weather pattern. You’ll want to ensure that no blowing or drifting snow, or strong wind is predicted shortly after you plant. This is so that you give your seedlings enough time to establish themselves before these weather patterns occur. However, if you are unsure or notice these patterns in your weather forecast, you may want to wait until the spring to plant, especially if you’re planning on planting towards the end of the fall season.
- Planting Location: Be sure to carefully consider where you are planting your seedlings. First, if you live in an area where they salt the roads in the winter, you will want to make sure that you plant your seedlings a good distance away from the road. This is so that the salt does not disturb the chemical balance of your seedlings’ soil. Second, you’ll want to consider where the sun will be in the spring/summer for the following year to ensure they will get the appropriate amount of sun and shade next season.
Now that you’ve weighed some of the pros and cons of planting during the fall, it’s time to make your decision. Fall is a great time to plant, so if you’re moving forward, check out our fall planting rules of thumb to follow below.
A Few Rules of Thumb:
- Plant During the Correct Time: The fall season is typically from the end of August to the end of September. Depending on if you are located in a relatively warmer climate, the fall season could go all the way until the end of November.
- Pro Tip: Generally, if the trees outside still have leaves on them, the chances are that you’re still okay to plant. However, the key is to get the seedlings in the ground early enough for them to establish their root systems successfully.
- Evaluate Your Soil Temperature Averages for Planting:
- Deciduous Seedlings: When planting deciduous seedlings, they will do best when the soil is 50 degrees or higher. This is because by the fall, the seedlings are starting to migrate into dormancy. With this, they start to put all of their energy towards gathering nutrients and moisture needed to successfully be dormant. If the soil is less than 50 degrees, it will make it harder for the seedlings to gather what they need to head into dormancy.
- Conifer Seedlings: When planting conifer seedlings, they will do best when the soil is 60 degrees or higher. Because conifers do not drop their needles in the fall/winter, they require more nutrients and moisture stored than deciduous seedlings in order to prepare for their dormancy. Warmer soil temperatures allow them to do that successfully.
- Take the Temperature of the Soil: To take the temperature of your soil, we recommend getting a ground thermometer, putting it into the ground overnight, and checking the soil temperature mid-day to see if it’s warm enough to plant your seedlings.
Following these tips will help you have a successful fall planting season.
Start Your Fall Planting Today!
Overall, the fall season is a great time to consider planting your seedlings. If you’d like to give fall planting a try, click here to email us or give us a call at (800) 888-7337 to discuss our inventory available for fall. If any other questions or inquires about planting during the fall come up, please reach out and let us know.
Happy fall planting!