Photo Credit Jeremy Thomas via Upsplash. Photo has been cropped.

Why should I plant in the fall?

You may be starting to think about winter, and that the garden season is almost over. Not so fast! Now is the best time to plant many perennials. There are lots of good reasons to plant in the fall.

Your new plants will be ready in the spring

It's a lot to ask of a new plant to grow roots, new leaves, and flowers all at the same time. So, especially for those plants that bloom in the spring, now is the best time to plant. If you are thinking of a peony, bleeding heart, daylily, canada anemone, lungwort, or other spring bloomer, get them in the ground now.

It is easier to get established in cool weather

Even for plants that will bloom later in the season, it's easier to get established in the fall. The cool weather means that it is less of a struggle to support leaves, and, anyways, those leaves will be dropped in a few weeks so they aren't even as important by now. The soil tends to stay warm for a while, making it easier to grow roots than first thing in the damp cold spring soil.

How late can I plant?

Some people plant right up until the ground freezes. But, I'd recommend not being quite that aggressive. In any case, we can never tell when that might be. For years the only time I had to work on my own garden was the end of October. At the time I was surprised that all those plants survived and thrived and now that's why I wholeheartedly recommend fall planting. Mid to End of October is usually safe enough in Toronto.

Should I take any special precautions?

As with any planting, you should make sure your plant is going into appropriate soil. For instance, lavender will want a well drained sunny spot, but other plants are happier with wet feet. Watering is important - but remember that your soil isn't going to dry out as fast in cooler weather. You want to make sure that your plant gets the water it needs to grow roots, even if nothing happens above ground.

Avoid Heaving Plants

You should take precautions to make sure that your new plant doesn't heave over the winter. What's heaving? That's when the freeze/thaw cycle in the soil lifts solid things out of the soil. Ever notice there are more pebbles on top of your soil in the spring? If your plant doesn't root out very fast, and the root ball is basically still the shape of the pot it came in, it can heave. That will expose the roots to winter, at a time when it is unlikely anyone will come to it's rescue. To avoid this, make sure to massage the roots of your new plant and spread them in the planting hole. Backfill carefully around the plant so that there is garden soil over the roots. Mulch around the plant to reduce the freeze thaw cycle.

Will there be any alarming outcomes

Sometimes when we plant in the fall, we find that the plant drops its leaves early. This is simply the plant going dormant, and holding onto it's energy rather than supporting leaves. Usually it is not a problem; just, it can happen. In the spring, chances are your plant will wake up from dormancy and forget that it was ever in that nasty old pot and love it's new home.

Do you still have supply?

We still have lots of stock. We will be able to supply plants right up into October. However, there are some popular items that sell out and won't be available again until spring. If you are considering two different plants, and would be happy with a particular substitute, let us know.

Will you have a fall sale

Because of our business model, purchasing plants from a wholesale supplier on your behalf, we don't have benches full of plants that have been languishing in a garden center to get rid of before winter. Our costs don't change as we get into fall. None the less, we are offering a fall sale this season. BUY 4 PLANTS, GET 1 FREE. Just put your 5 plants in your cart and checkout withe the checkout code FallFolly.

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