The best time for planting varies from species to species but, in general, the best time for planting is in spring or fall.
By following planting instructions anything you plant should be a success.
Best Time for Planting Trees and Shrubs
The best time for planting trees and shrubs is in the fall or early spring.
Planting when they are dormant is advised since that is when handling them is least disruptive- they are alive but not actively growing.
When do they go dormant? They generally begin to enter dormancy in the fall when their leaves fall off and begin to leave it in the spring when the buds begin to appear on their stems.
Planting Evergreens - Evergreens do not indicate when they go dormant as they do not drop their leaves. With these trees or shrubs, it is easier to choose the proper time for planting. They can be planted even later in the spring or later in the fall because they are tougher varieties. However, you will still want to avoid planting them when it is too hot or dry. If it is still hot in your region in late September, hold off until later in the fall.
*If you choose to do your planting in the summer, make sure you water them well or consider installing an irrigation system in order to supply the amount of water they need to get established.*
Special Remarks: Intense heat and lack of water is a major enemy to newly planted trees.
Best Time for Planting Perennials
Spring is an ideal time for planting perennials. You can plant through the summer but it will require more work and maintenance. Some plants are fussy and others are more forgiving but when planting perennials warm soil, warm sunshine, long days, moist ground and regular watering is essential for them to develop a strong root system and top growth.
*Spring is a good time to plant perennials that flower in summer and fall*
*Late summer/fall is a good time to plant perennials that flower in spring and early summer*
- Acclimate the plants. Let the plants adjust to life outdoors for a few days by placing them in a sheltered spot. Start with a few hours and increase the time but bring them inside if there is a frost warning.
- Be sure to space plants properly. It may take perennials several years to reach their full size. Consider growing annuals in between them until they fill out.
- Choose a cloudy, cool day to plant, or plant in the afternoon.
- Plant in good soil (maybe add compost) and thoroughly water them in.
- Mulch after planting, then water regularly until plants have established.
- Choose to plant your perennials late afternoon, when the sun is not as bright.
- Dig a hole larger than the plant pot and consider adding some compost.
- Water well and mulch around the plant.
- Make sure you do not let the plant wilt. Water twice daily, in the morning and in the evening, to maintain proper hydration for the roots. During summer months the plants consume more water due to the heat so it is tougher for them to stay hydrated.
When the soil and air are cooler and the sun less intense it is less stressful for the plants to be planted. Rainy fall months give the roots a good start and though plants do not form a lot of new leaves they will be well established by spring. It is also a good time to dig up, move and divide your perennials.
When getting ready to plant:
- Buy good, strong plants. These plants will establish easier in your garden.
- Mulch around the plant to protect the plant during the cold months.
- Cut back the top growth to help the plant focus on root growth.
What to avoid doing in the fall months:
Fertilizing – fertilizing urges new growth. We do not want new growth in the fall with the cold temperatures just around the corner. The plants should be going dormant in late fall.
Planting Late Bloomers - late bloomers are better planted in spring.