Insider Insights from Trained Landscaping Professionals

When planning your garden, always look ahead allow for growth, and realize that your views must literally change from season to season, year to year. A little nurturing along the way will reward you immeasurably. Good gardening to everyone!

Most customers only think about planting in the spring, yet there are so many reasons to plant in the fall, here are our top 5. 

1. Get a Jump Start on Spring

Planting perennials in the fall gives them a head start on growth the following spring. Root systems will start to grow once the ground thaws, long before the soil can be worked by human hands and any new plants can be put in. This early start means first-season perennials that can actually show their flowers!

2. The Cool Weather

If the hot, sweaty weather isn't for you, try gardening in the fall! The crisp, cool air makes for an enjoyable, leisurely experience working in the garden.

3. Crucial Support for Pollinators

With earlier blooms come earlier nectar sources for pollinators, who struggle to find food at the end of the gardening season. Anytime that you can provide early-spring (and autumn) food supplies for birds, bees, and butterflies, you'll be doing your part to protect the human food supply as well, as we rely on pollinators to put food on our own dinner tables!

4. Less Water

The colder weather helps to eliminate evaporation and shorter days mean that photosynthesis actually slows down, resulting in your new plants requiring less water.

5. Camouflage Early Spring Blooming Bulb Foliage

By partnering fall planting, spring-blooming bulbs with perennials, the dying bulb foliage will be engulfed by the perennial and allow them to naturally die back to provide strength for next year's bloom. When most fall bulbs are blooming, perennials are in their dormant stage. As the bulb nears the end of its bloom time, the perennials will start to grow, and subsequently cover the bulb tops when the bloom is gone. It also saves time by digging a hole once and getting 2 seasons of color.

Tip: When planning, always plan for growth. Too often people cannot visualize future growth and end up planting too close. Leaving room will allow the plants to show off their true character and reduce your future maintenance. Otherwise, you'll be taking your frustrations out on your plants just to keep them apart. Incorporating some slower growing or compact varieties may be helpful.

Tip: Use insect and disease resistant varieties where possible.

Tip: Don't forget the sun. Plants like certain settings so allow for this when planting (azaleas/rhododendrons prefer less afternoon sun) too much sun stresses them and can cause a rapid decline. Don't forget that over time environments change especially where trees are planted. A sunny location can quickly become shaded. Birches grow rapidly and not only shade but also produce a vigorous competitive root stem.

Tip: Color...Seasonal color can be achieved by staggering blooming plants throughout your landscape. Consider complimentary colors like red and pink vs. contrasting colors such as purple and yellow. (Generally speaking, shades of blue give a larger effect)

Tip: Flower and leaf color (ex. Fall leaf coloration is a positive addition). Whenever possible try to incorporate types of plants that provide fall interest. For example, Sweet Spire produces a flaming burgundy fall color. Another great fall plant would be Nandina which produces a vivid red fall/winter color.

Tip: Landscapes beautify properties helping to complement one's home. They also serve other functions such as privacy or windbreaks (Allow for growth but make sure that you know where your property line is. A few good choices for certain privacy applications include Leyland Cypress (Nigra Arborvitae and green giant arborvitae.

Tip: Downy Mildew Diseases. To reduce the risks of infection it is important to irrigate early in the day and to promote good air circulation (plant spacing) to avoid long leaf-wetness periods, especially overnight. Over-fertilization with nitrogen may increase plant susceptibility to the disease and should be avoided.

As with all landscape installations we at Kirshner will try and guide you the less mistakes the better. Working together with homeowners throughout the process can be a pleasant experience