In recent years, you may have heard the saying “Fall is for Planting.” We assure you this is not a gardening aficionados plea to gain more customers during what is traditionally a slow time of year at the garden center.

While most people think of spring as planting time—avid gardeners know fall is actually the best season to plant many trees, shrubs, and hardy perennials.

A closer look at the relationships between plant growth and weather explains why this is true.

As the dog days of summer wane, many of the plants in our landscapes rebound from the toils of summer. From summertime weather that included muggy, hot, and humid mid summer days, dry spells with minimal moisture, to flooding and torrential downpours—fall is a time of rejuvenation in the garden. Our roses begin blooming again, our tomatoes abundantly set fruit, and foliage begins to show vibrant new colors. New blossoms make their mark on the landscape as the autumn palette takes hold. Plants rejoice in the cooler nights, damper soils and returned rains. This shift in weather allows plants to get back to the business of growing.

The cooler temperatures reduce plant stress and are ideal for root growth, allowing newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials to quickly establish.

It is an interesting fact that plants can develop roots as long as soil temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This includes much of the fall and winter months throughout the south, which means plants installed in autumn have several months of active root growth during the dormant season. When warmer temperatures arrive in the spring, plants put their energy into growth—rather than setting root—and get a good hold before the heat of summer returns.

Not only is fall a great time to establish plants, it is also ideal for selecting trees and shrubs for fall color. If you are looking for a shade tree or shrub known for autumn foliage or if you are not sure exactly what plant you want, wait until plants reveal their fall colors. This will assist you in selecting the most vibrant specimen.

Autumn visits to the garden center also allow fall-blooming shrubs and perennials you may have passed over in the springtime to shine.

This is a great way to identify plants of seasonal interest to showcase in your garden. At Holly Days Garden Center we welcome you to join us to talk about your landscape needs and what objectives you are looking to accomplish. We look forward to seeing you, and always feel free to contact us if you have any questions, comments, or inquiries.