September will be here soon and will be the start of the fall planting season. The weather we have had and what is forecasted for the next two weeks will be optimal for fall planting.
Many perennial flowers such as peonies, daylilies and pholx can be divided as they are starting to die off for fall. Dig out the old clumps with a fork and split the crowns into several sections using a spade. Make sure each clump contains part of the crown with several buds and a large part of the root system. Prepare your new planting area by mixing in a compost such as Dairy Doo and replant. Do not plant too deep and mulch and water new plantings.
It’s a great time to plant trees and shrubs. The soil is warmer now than in the spring and there’s plenty of time for roots to get established. Roots can grow in soil as cold as 40 degrees and soil remains warm long after air temp drops. Listed below are some tips for fall planting
– Carefully pick a location that matches the growing conditions of the plant you want to install. You don’t want to have to move it later as plants will get big and it will be much harder and sometimes impossible to move later on.
– Dig your planting hole twice as wide and half again as deep. Loosen the dirt at the
bottom of the hole and add some compost
– Set your plant in the new planting hole. If the root ball is in burlap leave it on as it will decompose over time. If the plant was in a container, pull it out of the container before planting and examine the root system. If the roots are tightly tangled you can use a knife a score the roots in several places before placing plant in the hole. The plants roots will focus on getting themselves established for next spring.
– Make sure the new plant is fairly level with the soil line and back fill your new plant mixing existing soil with a good planting mix such as Dairy Doo Tree and Shrub mix. You want to use a 50-50 mix of existing soil and planting mix for best results.
– As far as fertilizer goes wait and fertilize in the spring. It is ok to use a root stimulator such as Bonide Root and Grow. In the fall we want to encourage root growth and not foliage growth. Excessive foliage growth in the fall will take energy away from root establishment.
– Make sure you mulch the new planting and keep it watered, being careful to keep mulch from directly touching the trunk or stem of the plant.