Monday, September 14th, 2009...6:26 pm

Fall is a Great Time to Buy and Plant Plants, Shrubs and Trees

Colorful Fall Planting by Don3rdSE

Colorful Fall Planting by Don3rdSE

The GardenLady just returned home from another buying spree of perennials and shrubs. This is TheGardenLady’s favorite time to buy plants. At Russell Gardens Wholesale, I got the Jackmanii Clematis that I wanted to plant next to my new arbor. I also bought 9 good sized hosta plants plus 6 other perennial plants. The price for everything came to just a little over $50. I couldn’t fit another plant in the car. Today I bought the Buddleia davidii Pink Delight that I decided I needed when I saw the wonderful long pink spikes it has. This buddleia looked magnificent in the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden. I bought it in a gallon pot at half price.

When you are driving around this fall, I hope the readers of this blog notice the huge signs at most nurseries that say SALE. And like TheGardenLady, I do hope that you are taking advantage of these sales. Unless you are shopping for a new plant that is being featured in the spring or you are looking for a plant that absolutely must be planted in the spring, FALL is the time of the year to buy and plant your garden. Why? Because this is the time of year that nurseries and gardens are having sales. The nurseries want to get rid of inventory so that they don’t have to keep all those plants in pots over the winter. And they want to make room for new plants that will be coming to them in the spring. And it is not just nurseries that are having the sales, plant catalogs and websites are having their sales. So you, the gardener will reap the benefit of these sales. Fall is a buyers market for perennial plants, shrubs and trees.

Many of the shrubs or trees or perennials love the added benefit of having that extra time in the ground to stretch out their roots and settle in. Fall planting is the optimum time to plant balled and burlapped trees and shrubs. Balled and burlapped shrubs and trees and potted perennials have ample time to recover from transplanting and proliferate roots before spring growth begins. Most deciduous trees and shrubs can be planted in the fall when they are moved with a good ball of soil or container-grown. Fall planting avoids transplant shock from summer heat. Plant before mid-October, however, to allow roots time to re-establish before cold weather.

Not all plants should be planted in the fall. All bare root plants, including roses, pecan and fruit trees should be planted in late winter when they are completely dormant. So which plants can be planted in the fall? Besides fall blooming perennials like asters and mums or bulbs like daffodils that are being sold now for fall planting, there are many spring blooming plants that can be planted now. Even an annual like the pansy can and should be planted now in the fall, so that you can get two seasons of bloom- one season of bloom in the fall and then again a season of bloom in the spring. But if you are worried, reputable nurseries will tell you if the plants you want can be planted in the fall. Even though their plants are on sale, they will only sell you those plants that can be planted now. After all, they want your repeat business next year. Many will guarantee the plant to grow for at least one year. Ask them if they do.

TheGardenLady has also taken advantage of sales that catalogs have and is eagerly awaiting her orders. Today another catalog came in the mail that has so many plants TheGardenLady would love to order. But those added shipping costs puts a damper on ordering. The adage of buying locally applies to plants. TheGardenLady would prefer to buy another plant than pay for postage. She feels that something is wrong with the pricing structure – why should the postage be based on what is spent and not on weight? Why should a shrub cost the same as a smaller plant. Perhaps the postage scale evens out and this is the easiest way of figuring postage and handling costs for the nurseries. But when I see the price added, it always makes me hesitate. I have often passed on great plants because of the added cost of postage and handling.

Related Content:


Leave a Reply