I am hopeful that here in Lancaster, PA we are experiencing our last summer days- temps in the 90s, we are over it! Although it is great for business! We are in the early days of October and, most of us, are looking forward to cooler weather that fall is supposed to usher in! Our past blogs have been focusing on fall preparation and this one will follow suit by discussing plants and shrubs that are an awesome addition to your home’s landscaping. Once the cooler weather arrives, it doesn’t feel like such a chore to be outside in your yard – so let’s talk about what you can be doing and what we love, as far as planting.
We discussed this in a previous blog – now is the time to clean out your planters and remove any annuals that are on their last legs of life. If they are still budding and blooming, you can leave them be or you can pull them and use for compost. Same goes for the shrubs & trees on your property. If they aren’t going to make it another season – take the time to remove them. It’s also a great time for you to try something new! Maybe you have had your eyes on a particular shrub, but haven’t had the room for it, clear out the dead and replace it with something beautiful and fresh! Another great tip – go to your local nurseries because now is the time that you can find end of season sales.
The fall weather is great for planting – the soil is still warm and the cooler air temperatures actually help to promote root growth. Roots need a good 6 weeks to grow into the ground so make sure you are allowing yourself time before the first freeze arrives. With that in mind, it is the best time to plant your spring bulbs. Tulips, daffodils, and crocuses are excellent choices that will make it through the cold winter months and provide you with a beautiful array of colors in spring! And you don’t want to forget about hostas – such a hearty & pleasing addition to any garden.
Cut back perennials ONCE they are dormant. They can be cut to the ground – super important for any plants that may have become home to slugs or other pests as that may leave behind their eggs on your plants which can cause damage to your plants. By cutting them down to the ground you are preventing issues for the next year’s blooms. Of note, there are a few perennials that you do NOT want to cut back in the fall: dianthus, coral bells, creeping phlox, ajuga, hibiscus, Russian sage, lavender, coneflowers, sedum, hellebores and ornamental grasses.
Now that we have everything cleaned up, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite perennials to plant in the early fall:
- Truffula – it’s extremely easy to grow and is very heat and drought tolerant! It has beautiful bright pink blooms and will provide color and beauty from June – October. You will want to make sure you give it ample room to grow because they grow like crazy!
- Kodiak Orange – this is more of a flowering shrub (kinda like a hydrangea) but is much more subtle in showing off its blooms. This beauty shows off her flowers in a bright orange all season long. But once fall arrives, it enhances its appearance with red tones. It is easy to grow in dry conditions and can even thrive in shaded areas. But to get the full performance of colors it has to offer; you will want to place it in a well sunned area.
- Berry Shrubs – there are so many gorgeous additions to your landscape that don’t produce flowers or foliage but instead show off beautiful berries in yellow, orange, red and even pink, purple and blue. Some of our favorites are: Berberis, Eleagnus, Juniperus and Euonymus.
And don’t forget, fall is the perfect time to go to your local greenhouse and get a ton of beautifully colored mums – which are the perfect accessory for your landscape!