Autumn is finally here with the advent of some much wanted and needed cooler temperatures, and lovely fall rains. When the weather cools down to daily temperatures in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and the night-time temperatures stay around the 50s, then it is the best time to plant most of our perennials, shrubs, grasses, and trees. There are a few exceptions: fruit trees, evergreens, mums, roses, and rose of Sharon (you can plant these now, it is just not the BEST time for them).
I look at this time of year as time to start reviewing my garden’s performance and make any needed changes to it. Is there a spot in the garden that needs more blooms next year? Do you need to move some perennials from a shady spot to a sunnier one? Are there holes in the landscape where something died? Now is the time to fix these places and add in new plants.
When looking at new plants for adding in the fall, do not be afraid to take something that does not look its best, but check the roots. Many plants are nearing the last days of life for their top growth, but their root systems should still be in good shape. Smell the soil in the pot, if there is an odor of rot or decay, then pass on that one. I choose plants based on what role they serve in my garden.
I look for perennials that spread and fill in gaps, shrubs that are fragrant or have good wildlife characteristics (berries, host to caterpillars, etc), and trees should be healthy with no cankers or fungal growths (mushrooms). Do not be afraid to grab a small tree (serviceberry, seven-son, redbud, crabapple) with multiple leaders or lack of a central leader, these trees do not get large and having a central leader is not necessary.
Check out sales and deals, many nurseries try to sell off inventory in the fall – not to get rid of bad plants, but to lower what they have to hold over above ground.
Did you know that here at Grimm’s Gardens we have running sales from September 1st to November 1st? That is right, our PINK FLAG SALE is running right now, with any plant with a pink flag at 50% off, a great variety of our overall selection. In September we have Buy 3 get 1 Free on ALL trees, shrubs, and perennials.