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Why Fall is for Planting

By Paul James

This isn’t the first time I’ve chosen to write about the benefits of fall planting, and it almost certainly won’t be the last. So just why am I so persistent? Simple. I want gardeners to have the best experience possible, and when it comes to planting trees, shrubs, and perennials, that means planting in fall. And when I say fall, I mean now.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s perfectly okay to plant trees, shrubs, and perennials in spring. But fall is the better time to plant for one simple, and very compelling reason — roots. Incredibly, up to 80% of a plant’s root growth takes place between September and November. 

When you plant in fall, nearly all of the plant’s energy is directed toward root development rather than producing new top growth such as stems, leaves, and flowers. When spring rolls around the plants are better equipped to start producing new top growth.

Just remember to continue watering throughout the fall and into the winter months, especially if the weather is cold and rainfall is sparse.

Happy gardening, ya’ll.

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4 responses to “Why Fall is for Planting”

  1. Stephanie Byers says:

    I’m worried about planting young fruit trees in the fall. I live in Bethany, suburb of OKC, and don’t want to invest in a high quality tree just to have the Oklahoma winter kill it. Thoughts about container gardening for young trees (in greenhouse) and moving out in spring? Maybe in containers for couple seasons? Eventually wanting dwarf apples and a couple apricots to add to my 1 acre home garden. (Side note … watched you as a kid with my mom. Some of my best memories with her)

  2. Kathleen Neal says:

    Help! “Suddenly” I’m seeing yellow ring catepillers from my crabapple tree. Is it too late and what can I do next spring? Thank you!