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Fall Planting: What to Plant

September 12th, 2019

The kids are back in school, the heat is a little less intense, and fall is a perfect time for planting! There is still time to get your landscape done before winter. Here on the front range, the ground doesn’t typically freeze until about Thanksgiving. This gives you plenty of time to plant.

What to Plant Successfully: Most things can be planted successfully in the fall. Trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennials are able to establish roots before the ground freezes. Looking to add fall color? Try adding mums, ornamental kale, pansies and grasses to your annuals’ pots. Now is also the time to plant fall bulbs so you can have that pop of color in the early spring. Fall is the best time to plant garlic in your garden. Many wildflower seeds require the freezing temperatures of our winters to germinate. Fall really is a great time to plant!

Warmer Soil: Since the soil is still warm during the fall, roots are able to grow and continue developing. Typically, you can plant up until 6 weeks before the first freeze. The ground will cool slower than air temperatures, giving your plants plenty of time to establish their roots.

Watering: It’s important to keep watering your plants, but they don’t need as much water as the days get cooler and shorter. You will want to water about 20% less as the days get cooler and until your sprinkler system gets blown out, which is typically around mid-October on the front range. Winter watering is a must, especially with new plantings. For instance, a 2” tree in Colorado will require 10 gallons of water per month in the winter.

What to Be Careful Planting: Grass seed can be sometimes difficult to plant in the fall because our temperatures are often so variable.  Turfgrass seed relies on evenly warm temperatures to germinate. If the new grass seed germinates in the fall, be careful of an early freeze and winter watering will be very important.  Native type, or pasture grass, is commonly planted in the fall. These types of grass plants can take much longer to germinate, so getting the seed planted in the late fall will give you the opportunity to take advantage of the early spring moisture. 

Evergreens and conifers can be a little touchy when planted later in the season as they continue to transpire even in the winter months, which makes winter watering a must. Winter watering can be a chore and difficult to apply the proper amount. In the winter, evergreens are dormant and require less water, however when transpiring, there needs to be an even exchange. This means that on a dry, windy winter day, they may need almost as much water as they do in the summer.  

Alpine Gardens is designing and installing landscapes all season long, and our staff know all the tips and tricks for a successful planting season. Give us a call at 970-226-2296 and we would love to help you make your property your own sanctuary.