Fall Planting Tips: Color Interest for All Seasons
The color and the delicacy of flowers inspire us in every season. As winter fades, for example, even when leaves haven’t yet appeared on the trees, blasts of color from Crocuses, Daffodils, and Tulips lift our spirits.
The best time to plant the bulbs that will raise up such spring glory is just around the corner — late October to early November. However, you might want to first ensure there’s color and textural interest right now.
For tips on how to ensure color for all seasons, Deck and Patio’s own Marc Wiener, ASLA, Director of Sales and Construction, offers some key planting tips:
Why Fall is the Best Time of Year to Plant:
Fall is the ideal time to plant trees, shrubs, and perennials when floras slowly begin their dormancy process. “They require less watering because the temperatures are cooler during the day and overnight,” says Marc.
“In addition, watering is typically less because they are using less energy to push foliage and roots; although the first two weeks are critical to ensure they get proper watering to ‘heal’ themselves in for the winter.”
Adding Fall Annual Color Interest Right Now
“Many of us use annuals to provide color when certain plants are no longer in bloom,” says Marc. “Kale, Cabbage, Decorative Peppers, Mums, Cyclamen, etc. are great color producers for fall and will last well into several frosts before dying back to the ground.”
Marc adds that it’s important to add compost to these plants so they get plenty of food while they are blooming. If you are planting cold hardy mums, they require water every other day as they have profuse flowers and use up a lot of energy and will require additional watering if there’s isn’t sufficient rainfall.
Housekeeping Your Plants
“Early fall is also a good time to prune your plants,” says Marc. “Be careful not to prune too late into the fall as frost can damage the stems that have been cut if they haven’t calloused over — inadvertently causing the tree and/or shrub to not bloom or have significant die back.”
Planting Bulbs in Fall for a Beautiful Spring
Bulbs are a inexpensive solution in providing very early color in your garden beginning in early March through late mid-June.
“The best time for planting bulbs is late October, early November,” says Marc. “Bulbs, such as Daffodils, Tulips, Hyacinths, Allium, Crocus, Lilies, etc. all add their own unique color, texture, height, sun and shade tolerance; and some have fragrance (i.e. – Hyacinths),” says Marc.
He adds that how you install bulbs is probably the most important aspect of ensuring they flower in the following spring. “Each type of bulb has it’s own specified planting depth and spacing. It is extremely important that you follow this rule (see following depths) — if not, the bulbs will not flower or may not leaf out. In addition, the pointy tip of the bulb must be planted straight up; otherwise the bulb will definitely not perform as intended.
Planting Depths for Spring Bulbs
Alliums: 8 inches
Crocus: 3 inches
Daffodil: 6 inches
Hyacinth: 7 inches
Tulips: 6 inches
Thanks to Marc Wiener, Deck and Patio’s Director of Sales and Landscape Construction, for his tips today!
(Note: All photos are by The Deck and Patio Company except where indicated.)