Is this a good time to plant, or should I wait until spring?

If you are asking yourself that question you are not alone. We hear it every day at our garden center this time of year. Now, as a garden center owner I suppose you might expect me to say that fall is a great time of year to plant. After all, it’s in my best interest to try to sell you a plant, right? Well, not exactly. You see, we offer up to a 2 year guarantee on nearly all of our trees and shrubs. So if we sell you a tree in the fall only to have it die, we have to give you another one for free in the spring. That doesn’t make much business sense. No, the reason we say fall is a good time to plant is simply because it is true.

Actually fall is when Mother Nature does her planting. Seeds for most plants mature over the summer, are planted (drop to the ground) in the fall, and come to life in the spring. There are several reasons that make fall such a great time to plant.

  1. Warm soil-  The soil is much warmer now than in the spring so the plant roots out and becomes established much more quickly.
  2. Cool air- The weather this time of year is ideal for planting, not only is it pleasant for the person doing the planting, but the daytime temperatures are mild, so the plant doesn’t wilt down as readily while it’s roots are getting established in their new home, and you don’t have to water so often.
  3. Fewer weeds- I love planting lawns this time of year, not only for the previous reasons, but also because weeds are far less of an issue in the fall compared to the spring. Weeds can be a real problem when planting lawns in the spring, but from my own experience I would venture to say that fall weed germination is less than half what it is in the spring.
  4. Better prices- Although the selection might not be as good in the fall, you can often find some real steals at the garden center this time of year. Garden centers need to reduce their inventory in the fall to free up their cash, so you will often find some great discounts. But even if it’s not discounted it’s still a great time to plant.

So get out there and do some planting this fall. your plants will love you for it. (And so will your local garden center owner.)

3 Replies to “Is this a good time to plant, or should I wait until spring?”

  1. Last year at this time I bought a Pinus mugo HG (Dwarf Mugho Pine) poitential width 2-3′ and height 4-5″. It is not the mounding type but a small little ornamental tree. We covered it in the fall but It was dead in the spring. Do you have any more of these so that I can replace it. Last time I looked I could find only the blue spruce type.

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