While we may be sad to see the heat of the summer on its last legs, there’s also something so inviting about the arrival of fall. The crisp, cool air is a refreshing relief from the scorching sun, and the changing leaves paint the landscape in fiery hues that bring nature to life. And although the trees may be dropping their leaves and our summer blooms may be coming to an end, there’s still quite a bit of planting and growing that can be done here in Allentown.
PLANTING TREES & SHRUBS IN FALL
Spring may be the first season that comes to mind, but fall is also a great time to plant! While we may fear that our new plantings won’t make it once the mercury drops, there are actually quite a few that tend to do much better in cooler temperatures than hotter ones. The best time to plant deciduous trees and shrubs is actually when they have transitioned into their dormancy. In this hibernation state, they are less likely to become “shocked” in the move to their new home in your landscape than if they are moved at the height of their growing season. This makes fall an ideal time to get them in place! Evergreens also prefer to be planted in cooler weather, as they tend to be more tolerant of heat when they are well-rooted in place. With no heat waves on the horizon in Pennsylvania, this makes fall a great time for them to settle their roots in order to stand up to next year’s summer.
PLANTING PERENNIALS IN FALL
Early-blooming perennials, like dianthus and coreopsis, are also excellent choices for fall planting. Getting them in the ground now gives them the head start they need to spring to life when the frost breaks. However, the same can also be said for late-blooming perennials, too, like phlox, sedums, and peonies. If planted in the fall, they’re more likely to produce blooms in their first growing season!
GROWING FALL COLOR & TEXTURE
Though our beautifully blooming summer annuals may be long faded away, there are still many ways to bring color back to our landscapes when the weather cools. These cool-weather-lovers excel in the autumn climate and are a fantastic way to breathe life into your gardens and pots right now.
Chrysanthemums. It’s hard to think of a fall landscape without these classic blooms coming to mind. Their marvelous mounds of daisy-like blooms burst in brilliant hues of every color on the spectrum. Known for putting on their best performance in the fall, they’re an excellent choice for reviving lost color in your beds and pots at this time of year.
Ornamental Kale may bear the name of a star-status superfood, but this crop is all about aesthetic, not edibility. Another plant that thrives in fall temperatures, now is when they truly come to life. Offering captivating colors and textures to add dimension to our designs, they are a great choice for foliage additions in our autumn arrangements.
Ornamental Grasses are another great choice for bringing color and texture to the landscape without blooms. As North American natives, they won’t shy away from the cool temperatures they are more than familiar with, and they’re hardy enough to handle themselves without much upkeep on your part.
Ornamental Peppers may technically be edible, but truly earn the title of “ornamental” for the aesthetic impact they provide in the landscape. Bursting with both spice and color, they glisten in fall pots almost like jewels and come in a wide array of hues to suit any design you may have in mind. Though they may be packed with heat inside, they actually don’t much of it to grow and will perform perfectly well in fall given some rich soil, plenty of sun, and the occasional watering.
Though the spectacle of summer may be on its way out, the season of fall has only just begun in our gardenscapes. With plenty of color and variety to still be had, now’s the perfect time to get planting and growing to still enjoy a full season of life before the frost hits. To get started, drop by our garden center in Allentown, and we’ll set you up for success today!