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Garden with a Winner!™

The best time for planting varies from species to species but, in general, the best time for planting is in spring or in fall. When planting in summer, plants need a little bit more attention but following the planting instructions, anything you plant should be a success. We will talk here about the best time to plant trees and shrubs and the best time to plant perennials.

Planting deciduous trees and shrubs –  the best time to plant these trees is when they enter dormancy (when they drop their leaves), or in the spring when the buds start breaking.

Planting Evergreens – the Evergreens do not send a precise signal when they go dormant and they don’t 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 than the deciduous ones. However, you will still want to avoid planting them when it is too hot (and/or too dry). If it is still hot in your region in late September, hold off till later in the fall.

Special remarks: Intense heat is a major enemy to newly planted trees. But lack of water for their root systems is another. Of course, cooler weather is best but you can plant a tree anytime (except winter). Give the trees a good watering when planting them in fall and they will get enough moisture throughout the winter if the season will be dry.

When planting the trees in the summer, make sure you water them well using water bags and installing irrigation systems in order to supply the amount of water they need to get established.

See how to plant a tree here

You can plant some perennials in your flower garden in the fall but springtime is preferable. Don’t forget about summer, but pay more attention when you do that, water properly and mulch around plants to keep the moisture.

In general, spring is a good time to plant perennials that flower in summer and fall. Late summer and fall is a good time to plant perennials that flower in spring and early summer. Some plants are fussy about when you plant them. Others are more forgiving.

When planting perennials, they need warm soil, warm sunshine, longer days, moist ground and regular rainfall (or regular watering) in order to develop their root system and the top growth.

Plant large – sized perennials in early fall and they will perform better in the garden come springtime.

Watering Can and Flowers

Spring Planting

When you want to plant in spring, make sure you do the following:

  • Acclimatize the plants (harden off plants). Let the plants accommodate to life outdoors for a few days, placing them in a sheltered spot. Leave plants outside for a few hours in the beginning then increase the time. Bring plants inside if there is frost warning or cover them.
  • 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 or mulch around each plant. Give a good soaking watering.
  • Mulch after planting, then water regularly until plants have established.

Summer Planting

  • Choose to plant your perennials later afternoon, when the sun is not as bright
  • Dig a hole larger than the plant pot, and add good soil at the bottom of the plant.
  • Water well and mulch around the plant.
  • Make sure you don’t let the plant to wilt. Water twice a day, in the morning and in the evening to maintain proper hydration for the rots. During summer, evaporation is higher and plants consume more water than usual.
Watering Can, Tools, and Flowers

Fall Planting

The soil and air are cooler in the fall and sunlight is less intense so less stressful weather for the plants, if you choose to plant in the fall. Rainfall gives a good start for the root growth. The plants don’t form lots of new leaves but they will be already established in the spring if planted in fall. They will be more vigorous and larger in size. Fall planting also applies to the perennials you want to dig up and move and to divisions (overgrown plants already rooted) When getting ready to plant perennials in fall:

  • 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 you should avoid during fall planting: 

  • Fertilizing – fertilizing urges the new growth. We don’t the plants to form new leaves if the cold temperatures are around the corner. The plants should go dormant in late fall.
  • Planting late bloomers –  Late bloomers (like asters, mums, black-eyed Susan, and perennial ornamental grasses) are better planted in spring.