Fall is For Planting!
Fall is For Planting! You may think spring is the best time to plant but at scott flanagan landscape, our preferred time for planting is in the fall, especially when it comes to trees and shrubs. Spring is a great time to plant, especially slow to establish plants, but there are a few drawbacks. Winter thaw and heavy spring rains often make the ground soggy. Working in water saturated landscapes compacts our heavy clay soil which spells disaster for plants. Once the plants are in the ground, the spring rain and cooler temperatures are great. But as anyone who has lived in Illinois for more than year will know, no two springs are alike. Sometimes they end abruptly and hot scorching weather is here sooner than anyone expected. A new transplant in sudden hot weather will likely go dormant and is more difficult to keep alive until it is established. Planting in the fall takes advantage of cooler temperatures and more precipitation than summer. There is also an added advantage: the soil temperatures are much warmer than in the spring after winter. This warmth encourages the plant to put its energies into root development which means stronger plants come spring. Transplant stress is greatly reduced because the plant has a better established root system to access water to support the new above ground growth in spring. While fall provides favorable conditions for planting, the plants will still need some TLC during the establishment phase. For trees this can be up to 3 years and perennials usually one season. Mulch is very highly recommended (http://www.scottflanaganlandscape.com/Do-wood-based-mulches-attract-termites.html); we really consider it a requirement for optimal health. Providing regular water as needed, until the ground freezes, is another key to success. http://web.extension.illinois.edu/state/newsdetail.cfm?NewsID=7761 Nicole Gear Horticulturalist scott flanagan landscape