The Absolute Best Time for Garden Revival!

by Pam Roy, edited by Bruce Gaudette
September 26, 2009

As summer winds down, savvy gardeners skip mourning he loss of long sunny days, knowing that the best time of the year for planting is arriving.  FALL!  The cooler temperatures and impending moisture are ushering what is perhaps the best time of the year for transplanting, and adding new plants to the garden.

The hints of oranges and crimson foliage here and there are signs to evaluate the garden and make some plans for fall projects.  Are there a few plants that were damaged by last winter’s record weather that you’ve been putting off pulling out, hoping they’d recover?  If the main leaf color is still brown (as on my poor magnolia) it is probably time to give a regretful sigh and remove the plant, making way for something new.  This is an excellent time to put the winter of last year behind and give your garden new life.  If there are areas of the yard that seem lacking in color or interest, this is the time to five them some pizzaz.  If not sure how to accomplish this, consider consulting a landscape designer.

Our unusually rainy and mild fall weather creates optimal conditions for adding or moving plants in the Pacific Northwest.  After a very dry summer that has had most gardeners busily watering and watering and watering, the rains of fall give some relief.  The rains of fall and winter (and spring) take care of most of the water needs of new plants. Our typically moderate temperatures during winter are mild enough to allow root growth to continue.  This fives newly planted plants a chance to set roots and get somewhat established.  When spring arrives with it’s burst of intense new growth, the plants are better able to respond to this.  The cooler temperatures of fall allow older established plants to be moved with much less risk.  There is less evaporative loss of moisture, and less chance or=f transplant shock occurring.

What about plant shopping?  Savvy gardeners also know that most nurseries restock in the fall bringing in truckloads of new plants to drool over.  Many of the local nurseries offer fall sales and discounts which is another good reason to plan a garden revival this fall.  Those plants that have been sitting in the nursery all summer have been growing, so that a one gallon plant purchased in the fall may be appreciably larger than that same plant was if you’d purchased it last spring.  Who can resist smart purchases such as these?

September or early fall is one of the best times of the year for seeding a new lawn.  The cooler temperatures mean less watering and less stress for the emerging grass.  If weather is dry, the new lawn (and new plants) will still need to be watered, but will not dry out as fast as in the eat of summer,  Plan to have this taken care of no later than the first week of October because after that, the temperature starts dropping like a rock radically slowing seed germination.

What a better way to invest in the future of your garden and the beauty of your home than a fall garden revival.  If it is more than you have time to undertake, please give us a call.  Enjoy!

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