What is not to be loved about the fall? Cool, crisp mornings, a glorious color palette courtesy of Mother Earth, less mosquitoes, a fresh new bounty of seasonal veggies, etc. I am sure you have your own list for loving the fall season. However, here at TriGem we love the fall because we care about every single plant we plant or care for.
If you think that you are the only one that needs a Xanax every now and then you would be wrong. Plants gets stressed too, sadly we cannot give them medication to reduce their stress. We can however try to reduce the amount of stress we put them through when we are planting them in your garden. When we plant them in the fall, we provide better conditions to give them a better chance to thrive. That is why we love the fall.
What are these conditions about which we are talking?
- Tis’ the season – Plants switch their objectives when the sun dwindles, and the temperatures go down. A drop in temperature slows down a plant’s metabolism largely because the enzymes that drive these biochemical reactions do not work so well in the cold. Photosynthesis slows, respiration slows, growth stops. They stop the spring and summer work of making leaves, shoots, flowers, berries, and fruit. All their energy goes into establishing roots.
- Cooler daily temperatures – that means plants lose less water through their leaves due to transpiration than they would in hot weather. In addition, cooler nights and morning dew allows them to recover each night.
- Autumn rains – are frequent and eliminate the need for daily watering (especially for those without an irrigation system).
- Lower humidity – reduces the chances of diseases spreading.
- Less weeds – that plants now do not have to compete with.
- Less pests – many insects complete their above-ground life cycle in late summer, creating fewer problems for the plants.
- More time to get established – Fall planting gives plants several weeks of growing time before they go dormant in winter. When above ground stems and branches stop growing, the root system continues to expand. A healthy, well-established root system goes a long way towards ensuring vigorous growth in the spring and a boost for the summer. Plants get an extra 6 to 8 months of root growth before they need to withstand the dry conditions of the following summer (compared to planting in spring). Deeper, better-established roots will help the plants tolerate droughts.
Tip: After you have installed your new plants, you can help them get established by applying a root stimulator with vitamin B1. The root stimulator helps to accelerate the development of feeder roots. Many root stimulators contain a mild fertilizer that is fine for the fall. Wait and do the heavy feeding in the spring.