Fall Planting Yields Full Season Benefits

Fall is a time when our gardening spirits tend to be re-awakened. With cooler temperatures and a greening of the landscape from autumn rains, it’s an ideal time to get outside and re-evaluate the design and layout of your yard and gardens.

As many of the plants that have taken center stage in the spring and summer have finished their display, fall offers the opportunity to re-envision the basic framework of your outdoor space. Do the structural plants (evergreens, deciduous trees and shrubs, ornamental grasses, and other plants with full season interest) work successfully in shaping your landscape? Is there a way to rearrange, reconfigure, or expand upon these elements?

This is also the time to take note of and be inspired by the colors and textures of fall with the intention of incorporating them into your garden. Ornamental grasses, both native and non-native, are in full flowering mode in the fall. And it’s also the time of year when evergreens of varying color and texture shine, and make themselves more visible. Fall color is apparent not just in the leaves of our shade trees, but also in deciduous shrubs that are transitioning into and exhibiting complex combinations of bronze and rose colors found in Oakleaf Hydrangea, or the deep reds and oranges of Fothergilla, and also in the brilliant color of fruits like those found on Kousa Dogwood. Fall colors also emerge in the flower heads of shrubs such as Hydrangeas.

Armed with fresh ideas and a new vision, autumn is an ideal time to plant as well as to plan the garden. It is a great time to prepare your garden and plant for maximum spring impact and a sequence of bloom that can make your garden flourish through all the seasons.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, fall is an ideal time to get things in the ground. It is appropriate to plant a full spectrum of material including woody plants (shade and flowering trees and shrubs) as well as perennials and ornamental grasses. And, of course, fall is the optimum time for planting bulbs.

The effects created through the use of bulbs are endless. Consider single or multiple color themes. Or a naturalistic effect using Scilla and Daffodils, versus a more formal, cultivated look that Tulips and Hyacinths can create. And take the time to plan a well-timed sequence of bloom or a singular explosion of color.

When it comes to pruning shrubs during the fall months, you should be sure not to prune anything that flowers in early spring as you risk cutting off next year’s flower buds. Any shrub that flowers later in the year can be pruned back in fall, but it’s best to wait until late fall because you don’t want to encourage new growth that could be damaged by fall and winter frost.

If you’re looking to reseed your lawn, early fall is a great time for that, too. September is ideal for seeding fescues as the ground is still warm enough to foster new grass growth and rain is still frequent enough to ensure germination before winter.

Planning and planting during fall months allows you to reimagine your landscape and will help give it an amazing start in the spring. Bulbs are a great choice because they’re relatively inexpensive, easy to plant, and can give you gorgeous spring colors. So enjoy the fall planting season before it’s too late—and if you have any questions about landscape design or fall planting strategies, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 317-575-1100 or simply fill out the form below.


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