Fall Planting, Schaefer Greenhouses Montgomery IL

August & September

Fall Planting

Perennials need 4-6 weeks to get established before the ground begins to freeze. Trees, shrubs and roses need 6-8 weeks. When planting perennials, shrubs or trees in the fall, do not fertilize – especially with quick release products. Fertilizing now could encourage new growth, which may not have enough time to harden off before the freeze, and may result in winter damage. Water these new plantings regularly until the ground freezes. After the ground is frozen, apply winter mulch. Winter mulch protection will help prevent the new roots from the thawing and freezing that occurs in our area.

Spring bloom – fall transplant

Fall bloom – spring transplant

Good choices for fall planting include:

Columbine – aquilegia
Japanese painted fern – Athyrium neponicum
Coral Bells – Heuchera
Foxglove – Digitalis
Catmint – nepeta
Peony – paeonia
Daylily – hemerocallis

Beauty berry – callicarpa
Sweet pepper bush – clethera alnifolia
Oakleaf Hydrangea – hydrangea quercifolia
Long stalk Holly – Ilex peduneulosa
Daphne x Burkwoodi
Beauty Bush – kolkwitgia amabilis
Witch Hazel – hamamelis x intermedia
Lace cap Hydrangea – hydrangea macrophylla

Paper bark Maple
Downey serviceberry – amelanchier arborea
River birch – betula niga
Hybrid magnolia – magnolia x loebneri
American Holly – Ilex opaca

Fall Clean Up

Fertilizing of roses, perennials, shrubs and trees should not be done after mid August. This allows plants time to prepare for the upcoming winter season.

Rake up leaves – Leaves that are infested with pests or from diseased trees, should be burned or bagged and disposed of. Use good leaves for winter mulch. Keep leaves dry in plastic bags til ready to use. Leaves used for winter cover should be mulched or chopped with mower. (Whole leaves often mat down causing molds and fungus.) Good mulched leaves can also be added to compost bins along with kitchen scraps.

Clean up any fallen fruit – Decaying fruit can attract unwanted visitors such as animals, insects or pathogens.

Roses can be trimmed slightly to fit under rose cones. If using cones, remember to punch vent holes in their tops to allow the heat of warm winter days to escape. Other covers for roses can be cages made of chicken wire and filled with mulched leaves. Do not use plastic covers! Wait until the ground is frozen before covering your roses.

Fall Soil Preparation

Fall is a good time to amend soil with compost and other organic matter. Leaves should be shredded before adding as an amendment. Do not use insect infested or diseased tree leaves. These leaves should be burned or bagged and discarded. Till good shredded leaves or compost into gardens. If adding to perennial beds, add 1”-2” layer around plants. Do not bury plant crown.