Fall is an ideal time for planting trees and shrubs

2022-09-02 20:00:06 By : Mr. Alex SPARK

Fall is always my favorite season but the tougher the summer, the happier I am for September to come along! The recent rain will do a world of good for struggling plants, and will soften the ground to make planting easier. Fall is the best season for planting many types of plants, so make plans now for planting trees, shrubs, perennials, herbs and cool-season color.

Trees and shrubs are the most valuable, permanent plants of the landscape, so take time to carefully choose and plan what to plant. Then use good design principles to place in the right location, and best planting techniques to get a successful result. Plant large shade trees at 45-degree angles off the front corners of the home, so they frame the home and highlight it – not in front of the home to block it and/or visually divide in half. Plant large shrubs at the corners, and smaller dwarf shrubs closer to the front door. Choose dwarf shrubs for the front of the home that grow to the appropriate size at their mature age, so that regular shearing/pruning is not necessary.

Planting depth is very important for woody plants – don’t dig the holes deeper than the rootball; planting trees just a few inches too deep can cause major health and aesthetic issues. Amend soil with compost when planting shrubs, but not trees. Shade trees have large extensive root systems that must be adapted to the native soil – it’s impossible to amend all the soil the roots will eventually occupy. But planting beds where shrubs, perennials, annuals and groundcovers will grow should be tilled up and amended with good-quality plant-based compost. Organic matter in the soil will improve plant performance and reduce the need for fertilizer. Finish off with a three- to four-inch deep layer of wood mulch. Research has shown that mulch can help woody plants grow bigger, faster – it helps keep weed competition at bay, moderates soil temperature, prevent evaporation, etc.  Always water new plants in immediately after planting, and hand water for the first few weeks – don’t rely on automatic irrigation until they begin to establish.

For more info on planting trees, as well as a variety of other topics such as lawn care, landscape design, floral design, passalong plants and plant propagation, join us for the Fall Landscaping Symposium hosted by the Concho Valley Master Gardeners on Saturday, Sept. 10. The deadline to register is Wednesday, Sept. 7, don’t miss out! To sign up and for details, visit https://txmg.org/conchovalley/ or call 325-659-6522.

Allison Watkins is the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent for horticulture in Tom Green County. Contact her at aewatkins@ag.tamu.edu.