SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fall Planting Suggestions to Help Your Green Grow | Family Economics

By Andrea

I know many people think of planting as a spring activity. However, in recent years, we have started to do more fall planting. Sometimes it leaves the neighbors scratching their heads at us, but planting in the fall really does make sense. It makes financial sense, too.

Fall is a great time to purchase perennials at a discounted price. Most nursery and garden centers can’t keep the inventory since they don’t stay in season for that specific climate. Plus, if they did, what would they do if that evergreen shot up five feet during the season?

Here are a few items we always purchase on discount and plant in the fall:

• Grass: The ideal time to seed is between August and September. But, if you’re like us, that never happens. So we plant during fall, or at least before the first snow. Grass and the growing process is dormant in the fall, but it will be ready to grow in the spring.

• Bulbs: We plant the majority of our bulbs in the fall. In my opinion, bulbs are the most rewarding, and the easiest thing to plant. Generally, bulbs should be planted in the fall.

Bulbs are super small so planting takes very little effort. Just dig the hole where you want your flower to grow, keep in mind the suggested distance between each bulb, and throw them in. When spring comes, they will bloom. The best part is you will have a vase of flowers to welcome in the new season, for free!

• Shrubs and Trees: Through trial and error we’ve found that fall is the best time to plant shrubs. We have planted shrubs during spring and fall, but our spring efforts failed because by the time the roots were trying to establish, summer had arrived and it was too much stress for the shrubs.

Now we only plant in fall. And bonus for us, it’s always cheaper! I can use that savings for our holiday budget.

Remember, plants don’t always have to be purchased at all. Free is best, right? If you have friends who are “Susie Green Thumbs,” be frugal and ask them to split, which is a plant cut in half. Then be sure to ask that friend how you should plant to ensure your “half” stays alive and well for a long time!  

Check out this Top 10 Fall Planting list if you want to consider other planting items for fall.  It also includes planting instructions for your region to make sure your time and money investment survives the temperatures in your area.

What have you had success with planting or gardening in the fall?

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