Fall Landscaping Pays

Photo: Texas nurseries offer literally hundreds of fine choices for landscaping projects. Let your plant professional help you in choosing the best types for your needs.

There was a campaign of the old American Association of Nurserymen back in the 70s. It was called “Fall is for Planting.” Like white poinsettias for Easter, however, it never really caught on. It made a great bumper sticker, but you never really heard it spilling from lips.

But that old saying was absolutely accurate. Late September and October are actually the very best times for doing your landscaping here in Texas.

Why fall plantings are best…
Plants in nurseries now are probably larger than the same plants will be next spring. For example, 1-gallon plants now, in the fall, will probably be repotted into 3-gallon pots for spring sales. They’re big for 1-gallon pots now. They’ll be of average size for 3-gallon pots in the spring. Plus they’ll cost a good bit more.

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Many nurseries will begin to have fall closeout sales over the next several weeks. They’ll either be trying to reduce the over-wintering responsibilities or eliminate them altogether. So again, you may get a larger plant for less money – that’s a really good deal.

Plants set out now will have the longest time possible to establish new roots before next summer arrives. Planted now they’ll get seven or eight solid months. Planted in April or May, they’ll get a few weeks. Since roots definitely do grow all winter, that makes for a giant head start on getting the new plants established.

You have more time now than you will in the spring. Come March and April you’ll be busy finishing up pruning, reworking the soil, starting your garden, scalping the yard, putting out pre-emergents, setting out spring flowers, and taking equipment in for repairs (because you forgot to do so over the winter). Life moves at a slower pace in the fall.

As you have more time now than in spring, so does your nurseryman. They’re only human, and a big percentage of their annual sales come from mid-March to late May. They have a lot less time in spring to sit down with you and help plan for your projects. They’ll be better able to share their times and talents with you in fall.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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