"Fall is for planting." You may have heard this before, but do you know what makes fall the best time to plant trees, shrubs, and perennials? Here are some reasons.
First, consider the roots. Cooler fall temperatures means less foliage growth and in turn, more root development. Many trees and shrubs lose their foliage in winter, and will focus their energy on root development instead of foliage growth. And healthy roots means healthy tops; perennials that die back to the ground will continue to establish new roots in the fall.
Another factor to consider is moisture. The enemy of most plants is the first summer and the potential drought that summer brings. Planting in the fall gives more time to establish roots before this enemy arrives. Also, with the cooler temperatures, the air suffers less evaporation of moisture and therefore your plants won't go dry as quickly. Lastly, we get more rain in the fall than in the summer, so you won't have to work so hard to keep your soil moist.
Whether you wait for the official first day on the calendar, or simply measure by the feeling of fall in the air, anytime between September and December will be a good opportunity to plant some new trees, shrubs, and perennials in your garden. Just be sure to make sure they don't get thirsty as we finish up our hot Alabama summer in the next few weeks.
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