In the midst of the Olympics/Paralympics, now is the TIME to be physically inspired and jump into action to get your landscape back into shape. It is TIME to put your summer reading down, send the kids to school and get your garden gloves on because Fall is the best TIME of the year for planting. Here is why we keep saying Time, Time, Time, and want to emphasize the Fall plantings. September-November are our key months to get plants in the ground and here are the medal deserving environmental factors to set your plantings up for success.
Gold Medal factor: More Water
Think of this environment factor in terms of a runner. A runner who is cool and hydrated will perform better and recover more quickly than a runner who is hot and dehydrated and struggles to the finish line. The dehydrated runner can feel sick and cramp up, while the hydrated runner recovers at a steady pace and is able to continue moving on. Compare that with roots of a plant and growth: Every hot dehydrated spell a plant goes through will stop (cramp) its growth and the plant will need adequate water levels before it can have consistent absorption to continue growing. The hydrated plant will establish quickly and start sending out new roots into the moist soil to give it a solid footing before Winter arrives.
Silver Medal factor: Cooler Temperatures
Temperatures are lower in the Fall so there is less heat stress and drying out of the soil. Think of this as air conditioning in a gym. An athlete training in climate controlled facilities is going to hone in their skills because they aren’t competing with the heat. Same with plants, they can focus on growth if they aren’t stressed by heat. Also, in the cooler temperatures, there is less evaporation, which will keep the soil moisture consistent, allowing new roots to reach out. If there is fluctuation from wet to dry, the plants won’t be able to get a good drink.
Bronze Medal factor: Less insects
In addition to water and temperature, our pesky insect competitors start to lose some steam in the fall when night time temperatures drop.
The podium is set, now go get planting!