Contrary to popular belief, the absolute best time to plant is in the fall. Although most people tend to think of spring as the primary time for planting, fall provides the perfect combination of factors to ensure the success of your new plants when springtime arrives.
As air temperatures begin to drop during the fall months, soil temperatures stay warm – even warmer than in the spring! Plants will begin to develop their root system until the ground freezes for the winter. Autumn also tends to bring more rainfall than the spring does, giving your new plants plenty to drink as they grow.
Planting in the fall is also beneficial to you as a gardener. Cooler temperatures make outdoor work more pleasant. You’ll also be ahead of the game when warmer weather begins!
Let Us Help!
Wasson Nursery is your local expert when it comes to planting new trees.
After installing trees for our Indiana and Ohio neighbors for more than 40 years, you could say we know a thing a or two about how to grow healthy, long-lasting trees.
If you are unsure about installing your plants on your own, we offer installation services for all types of plants. You can browse our options, select your plant, and let our landscapers know where you would like it installed. We can even order specialty plants for you if they are not in stock at one of our locations! Schedule an appointment here.
The Installation Process
Fall is the perfect time to plant larger plants such as trees and shrubs. Before getting out your shovel and planting a tree or shrub, always call 811 before you dig to have any underground utilities located. It can be extremely dangerous to dig when you don’t know what’s under you!
Once you have found the (almost) perfect spot for your new plant, it’s time to begin the installation process. At Wasson Nursery, we recommend the following steps to give your plant the best possible beginning in your yard.
Choose and Prepare the Site
Choose the proper site for planting. Examine your yard at all times of the day to ensure the proper level of sunlight will reach your desired plant. Check exposure, soil type, and drainage to ensure your spot will allow your new plant to thrive.
Do not dig in excessively wet or dry soil. You can check your soil’s moisture by testing a soil ball. If a moist (not wet!) soil ball crumbles in your hand, it is fine for planting. In our area, soils tend to contain a high percentage of clay. If needed, add a mixture of peat moss and sand to the soil to be used to backfill the planting hole. Never add more than 25% organic material!
Remove the Plant from the Pot
Carefully remove the plant from its pot. Use a sharp knife to cut the sides of the pot if necessary. Always handle the plant with care: never pick it up by its branches! It’s best to loosen the roots of the plant by using your fingers, but you can also make vertical slits on the outer half of the root ball on four sides if needed. Keep the roots moist until you are ready to plant.
Place and Install
Dig a slope-sided hole twice the size of the diameter of the root ball. Loosen soil only as deep as you need to accommodate the root ball. The root flare of the plant should be 1-2″ above the existing grade. Rest the root ball on undisturbed or firm soil to prevent settling later. Backfill the hole with soil.
Add water around the sides of the root ball as you’re backfilling the hole. You can also add a root starter fertilizer to set your new plants up with the nutrients they’ll need to grow. Break up large soil clumps. After backfilling, firmly tamp the soil with your foot. New trees need approximately 15 to 20 gallons of water at the time of planting. We recommend hose watering at a slow trickle for the best results.
Use mulch to retain moisture, insulate the roots of your new plant, and reduce weeds and soil compaction. We recommend bark mulch. Spread
a 2-3″ layer of mulch over the planting area. Keep mulch approximately 1″ away from the trunk or stems of your plant.