Autumn: Why Plant Now?

Although many gardeners plant trees and shrubs in the spring, knowledgeable gardeners plant in the fall to take advantage of all this fabulous season has to offer. But why is fall planting better than spring planting?

  • Stress Reduction
    Transplanting causes stress as plants are removed from containers, balls or established locations and changed to new locations. Planting in the fall, when a plant is entering dormancy and is generally hardier and sturdier, reduces this stress so the plant can thrive.
  • Establishing Strong Roots
    Fall planting “establishes” trees and shrubs by encouraging root growth. Because the soil is still warm, the roots continue to develop until freezing, though the upper parts of the plant are already dormant. When transplanting in the spring, the developed roots are active and delicate tips or rootlets, as well as buds and new leaves, are more easily damaged. We use and recommend using BioTone when planting, a root stimulator.
  • Weather Resiliency
    Trees and shrubs planted in the fall are better able to withstand the rigors of the next summer’s heat and dry conditions because they have much longer to develop healthy roots systems and become thoroughly established. This is especially critical in dry climates or areas prone to drought or irregular rainfall.
  • Faster Maturity
    The “head-start” of fall planting results in a larger plant in less time, helping create a mature landscape without waiting for smaller plants to catch up. This can be especially critical when replacing dead or damaged plants in a mature landscape to avoid a gap or uneven look.
  • Water Conservation
    Planting in the fall saves watering time and promotes conservation by eliminating daily watering. Cooler temperatures with the addition of both morning and evening dew contribute greatly to soil moisture availability in fall without as much supplemental watering.
  • Color Confirmation
    Fall is the best time to see a plant’s autumnal color. Planting in the fall eliminates the surprise of the wrong color or unexpected shades that may not coordinate with nearby plants. By planting in autumn, you’ll know exactly what you’re purchasing and planting, and you will be able to match better with your existing landscape.
  • Saving Money
    Last but definitely not least, buying your beautiful trees and shrubs in autumn can save big money. We often discount prices on some trees and shrubs in the fall, depending on inventory levels. You also have your Bedner Bucks to spend this time of year.

Autumn can be the ideal time to plant trees and shrubs, whether you are adding to your landscape, replacing plants or starting a whole new look. If you plant in autumn, you’ll be amazed at how lovely your landscape will look next spring.

Want some help with design ideas, or do you want us to do the planting for you? Contact our Landscape Team by filling out a Landscape Request Form!

Collecting Flowers, Grasses for Fall Arrangements

image from Birds and Blooms

Yes, it is early, but you want to be on the lookout for materials you can use for dried arrangements for fall or Christmas.

For example, I used dried sedum heads, dried allium, and dried papyrus for little Christmas arrangements. I dyed the sedum red and the allium and papyrus gold. I placed them in a small red wicker basket I’d gotten from Michaels and added very small red ornaments. Small jingle bells work too. They turned out great, and yes, I’ll do it again this year.

I also like the idea of limelight hydrangea (green when growing), dried ornamental grass plumes, matching green ribbon and a contrasting green vase. I dry the hydrangea green (a light green like chartreuse is best) and leave the ornamental grass in its original color. It’s not necessarily Christmas-y, but it will add color in the fall.

Some roses dry okay, and so do marigolds. The latter can be dried in every color in the world and massed together for a wreath. 

Curiously enough, I’m not so sure about silver in a dried presentation. Maybe if glitter were added it would have the best effect.

Hydrangea heads of any color are great when dried. Also, don’t forget weeds! I have a number of weed seed heads in my yard that will be fine when dried. Maybe I’ll do an arrangement of dyed blue and white seed heads and blue ornaments. Or green! The possibilities are endless.  Just use your imagination!

Barbara Wittman Alsip was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, of German, Austrian and Prussian grandparents. Her father was a horticulturist, (Texas A&M, Class of 1919), and her mother was active in garden clubs and flower growing. She has two grown sons and two grandsons.

She received her BA and MA in French and Spanish from Texas Christian University and her PhD in French from Emory University. She taught at the university level for a number of years.

At her first home in western Pennsylvania, she had 165 trees, evergreens, flowering trees, perennials, herbs and annuals. She is looking forward to landscaping, with Bedner’s direction and help, at her new home.

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315 Coleman Road, McDonald, PA 15057
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