As the fall equinox approaches, we want to remind you that fall is the best time to plant! Plant now & take advantage of the fall conditions so your plants can concentrate on the most important thing first – growing their roots!
When you plant in the fall, the ground is still warm which creates an optimal environment for root growth. Planting about 6 weeks before expected ground freeze allows roots to grow quickly and establish a strong root system before going dormant for winter. Since fall days are shorter, brighter, and cooler, plants begin shifting their focus. They expend less energy creating blooms and foliage and more energy on underground growth, allowing them to store the nutrients needed to get through the cold winters and have a nice strong start when spring hits and the ground begins to thaw.
Another benefit of fall planting is that when temperatures drop, so does insect activity! We stop seeing common garden pests like aphids, spider mites, and even some fungus like powdery mildew. When affected, plants spend a lot of energy trying to mitigate infestations from these pests which can distract them from more important things like blooming and growing strong roots. We also see a decrease in weed growth. As we know, weeds are constant competitors when it comes to garden nutrients, so it’s always beneficial to eliminate the competition!
Fall is also an optimal time to seed or re-seed your lawn and plant spring-blooming bulbs. Most spring-blooming bulbs, like daffodils, allium, and hyacinth, require a winter dormancy cycle before blooming in the spring. During this cycle, the bulbs begin working underground to develop their root systems. As the ground freezes, the cold temperatures cause a chemical and hormonal change that turns stored carbohydrates into sugar. Once the ground begins to thaw, the sugar fuels the leaves to push their way to the soil surface and begin blooming.
The high desert region of Northern Nevada is known for being drought prone, no matter what the season! So be sure to keep an eye on natural precipitation levels and make sure you supplement for your plants so they receive enough water through the fall and winter months. If you’re not sure what to plant or how often to water, stop by any of our stores and chat with a Moana Nursery Plant Doctor!
If you have any questions, stop by any one of our three Moana Nursery garden centers or contact us online.