In our Midwest climate, mid-August to mid-October is an ideal time to plant a variety of plants. We love this time of year as the weather cools above ground while the soil is still warm below ground. This is especially important to promote good roots for a hardier plant next spring.
Trees – (deciduous, evergreen, fruiting) & shrubs that live a long time are especially successful when fall planted. These can be planted even late into the season after the leaves have dropped. Perennials and grasses that have smaller roots will have the greatest success if you can get out and plant earlier in the fall. We recommend hardy ornamental grasses and perennials be planted by late September.
Another advantage of the fall is we typically experience more rainfall, cutting down the demands for the homeowner to use the water hose. As we recommend all year long, the typical amount of water for new plantings should be the equivalent to 1” of rainfall per week. Water the landscape into late fall on new plantings. Give fall-planted items a good last “drink” at Thanksgiving. This helps the roots have plenty of moisture as the ground freezes hard.
Mother nature knows! Plants are naturally going through internal changes in the fall season. The tops of the plant are gradually shutting down and energy is going into the roots for winter survival. Fall transplanted items will follow this natural cycle to provide your landscape a great jumpstart next spring!