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Schill Grounds Management Blog

5 Reasons Why Fall Is An Ideal Time For Planting

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How much longer can you plant in Northeast Ohio? Perhaps there are areas of lawn you’d like to reseed—or maybe your budget allows for some landscape enhancements to your commercial property before year-end.

Now is the time.

Fall is an ideal time for planting, and we encourage our retail, commercial and HOA property owners in Northern Ohio to seriously consider getting plants in the ground now before the first frost. Here’s why.

#1 Plants Thrive With Hot Days and Cool Nights

The warm daytime temperatures and cool nights of fall are perfect for establishing plants. That’s because warm days encourage growth, while cool nights prevent stress and allow plants to get acclimated. On the other hand, when you plant during the hot days of summer, new plants are constantly under stress and will require more resources (water) to stay healthy.

#2 Soil Temperatures Promote Plant Growth (Before the First Frost)

All plants (including grass) grow strong in soil temperatures of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. So, you can plant trees, shrubs, perennials, grass and bulbs up until the first frost. When exactly will that happen? (We wish we had a crystal ball—but the timing varies each year.)

That said, this year Lake Erie reached a record temperature, and the warming effect of such a large body of water impacts soil temperatures. Our ground in Northeast Ohio, especially along the lake, will probably stay warmer for longer. This could very well extend the planting season this fall in Northern Ohio.

#3 Fall Brings More Rainfall, Perfect For Growing Plants

Fall weather is naturally wetter in Ohio. We get more rainfall, on average, and that soil moisture is better for planting. Proper soil moisture is critical during the initial stages of root establishment. And, it lessens the burden on commercial property owners to constantly water newly planted trees, shrubs and turf. By planting in fall, plants get a strong “head start” before winter and spring, and by summer when temperatures heat up and soil dries up, roots are deeper and more developed so plants are more resilient.

#4 Establish New Lawns Before Winter

Fall is a great time to reseed areas of lawn that suffered from damage this summer, or to plant a brand-new lawn if a complete renovation is necessary. Again, the benefits include more ground moisture, moderate soil temperature and overall “stress-free” conditions for root establishment.

#5 Now Is The Time To Plant Bulbs

We love to see crocus peek out of landscape beds in early spring and bright, showy displays of daffodil that signal warmer days ahead. These bulb flowers must be planted in fall. The problem is, we often forget about planting bulbs until the warm weather returns and we’re waiting for that first pop of spring color.

Talk to your landscape provider about spring color plans now, and if that includes bulbs they can be planted before the ground freezes.

Plant In Fall And Plan For Spring Now

Fall is a great time to review your property and do a walk-through with your landscape provider to identify areas you want to invest in and improve during the coming year. Because it’s not too late to plant, you can take advantage of the temperate fall weather to get plants established now get a head start on spring.

There’s no reason to wait if your landscape plan includes planting grass, installing shrubs and trees, or even putting perennials in the ground. And, if you don’t have a plan, it’s a good idea to sit down with your landscape provider before year-end to discuss your goals and budget for 2017.

We are heading into cooler weather, but your landscape is just as visible now as it is during summer. So, continue the level of maintenance and investment in enhancements to keep your Northeast Ohio grounds looking their best. We have ideas for you!

Give us a call any time at 440.327.3030, or fill out our contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.  

Topics: Plants

Jerry Schill

Written by Jerry Schill

Jerry Schill is president and co-owner of Schill Grounds Management. He's received numerous accolades for his leadership in the Northeast Ohio business community and the commercial landscaping and snow management industry, including the National Leadership Award from SNOW Magazine and Lawn and Landscape Magazine. He is an active member of the Legislative Committee for the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA) and the Snow and Ice Committee for the Ohio Landscapers Association (OLA).

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