Fall planting: Cooler temperatures benefit new trees, shrubs and perennials

Fall is the ideal time to plant trees and shrubs because the cooler temperatures and increased rainfall promotes root establishment.

Choosing deciduous plants for a landscape offers a home heating benefits from the sun in cooler months and cooling potential in warmer months due to shade.

Trees, shrubs and ornamentals can provide a home with many landscaping solutions:

Foundation plantings — use evergreens for great foundation plantings in the landscape.

Strong vertical forms at the entrance of a home —pyramidal yews and junipers may be used in this case.

Shield from the weather — large conifers planted on the west or north sides of open space can reduce wind and heating costs.

Splash of color and beauty — broadleaf evergreens, such as holly, azaleas, and rhododendrons, produce flowers or berries and maintain their leaves throughout winter.

Planting is easy, just follow these steps:

Give room to grow. It is a common mistake to plant trees or shrubs too close to each other or surrounding structures. Remember that fully grown trees may interfere with the foundation or wiring of a home or drop leaves into the gutter.

Start digging. Dig a hole that is deep enough for the tree's roots to sit on solid dirt, with the soil line slightly above ground level.

Fertilize and plant. Mix one part yard soil with one part soil amendment, such as Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Trees & Shrubs, Nutri-Green compost or compost you make yourself. Make a small mound in the center of your hole and place your tree or shrub on it. The soil line should be slightly higher than ground level. Start filling the hole with the soil mixture; tamp the soil gently as you go so that there is a slight depression around the base for catching water.

Posted by Kathy Van Mullekom

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