The end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of gardening. In fact, fall is one of the best times of year for many gardening projects. The cooler temperatures and shorter days make it easier to embark on more difficult and labor-intensive projects. Here are some of our fall gardening tips to keep your garden looking beautiful.
Planting Trees and Shrubs
We often get asked “when is the best time to plant?” This answer varies depending on your location and climate and what you’re planting. Here in Utah, trees and shrubs can be planted any time the ground is not frozen. Essentially if you’re able to dig a planting hole, it’s OK to plant. Fall is the ideal time for planting trees and shrubs because the cooler weather and less intense exposure make it easier for plants to get established. Plants don’t need to use their energy for growing foliage and can instead focus solely on root establishment. Planting in general can be a stressful experience for plants and some can struggle to adapt to their new environment. This problem is exacerbated during the summer due to Utah’s sweltering heat and dry climate. They also need much more water and need to be watered more frequently. Fall makes this transition easier for plants, and they are much more likely to thrive. Use mulch such as bark or organic compost around new plantings to keep their roots cool in the summer and protected in the winter.
Most local nurseries have big fall plant sales to get rid of as much of their stock as possible before winter. While the plant selection may be limited compared to the spring, you can still find some good deals that aren’t available at other times of the year.
Fall and Winter Watering
You still need to think about watering during fall and winter. Keep an eye on how much rain and snow we get throughout fall and winter when sprinkler systems are turned off for the year. This is true for even drought tolerant plants as they need a few years of regular watering before becoming drought tolerant on their own. Water by hand when the soil is dry or when we haven’t had much precipitation. Especially keep an eye on evergreens such as Boxwoods and any containerized plants.
Keep Your Perennials Blooming
Many perennials such as Salvia, Lavender, and Daylilies have a long bloom season and can bloom until the first fall frost. Deadheading, which is simply cutting off the spent blooms, encourages plants to continue producing new blooms. This is a great way to support pollinators and ensure they have enough food and nutrients they need before hibernating and the winter.
Plan for Next Spring
Designing or revamping your existing landscape can be overwhelming, especially when you’re just getting started. If you think you need help designing or choosing the right plants, now is the time to reach out to professionals. Most people wait until the first warm spring day to contact plant consultants or landscape designers and are disappointed when they aren’t accepting new clients or have a long wait time. Spring is the busiest time of year for everyone in the green industry, but fall is usually much less busy.
If you’re in search of a specific or hard to find plant species, now is also the time to contact local nurseries to see if they can order it for you for next spring. There are many shortages in the industry right now due to increased demand – especially for Weeping White Spruces and Tri-Color Beeches. Some species may be unavailable but usually nursery professionals can recommend a suitable alternative.
Landscape Supply of Utah is here to help you with all your DIY projects. Visit our nursery and rock yard located at 611 W 12300 S or call us at (801) 816-9104 to get started today.
Written By: Shannon Cavalero – Operation Manager, Landscape Supply of Utah