Top Plants to Plant in The Fall

Stone circleSpring isn’t the only time of year for planting! Some flowers, trees and shrubs do best when they’re planted in fall. Knowing what needs to be planted in fall can help you make your landscaping plans for the coming year.

Turfgrass

Turfgrass is best installed on your lawn in the early to middle fall, just as the weather is starting to get cool for the winter. You can install turf at other times of the year, but if it’s very hot or dry, your grass will need special attention in order to thrive. Working with a landscape contractor to get the job done can help ensure that your grass will thrive.

There are two ways to install turf: scattering seeds or laying sod. Seeds take longer and the results can be spotty, depending on how religiously you water and care for your grass until the turf is established. Sod is a fully ready option that can quickly transform your yard and be ready in time for your next backyard barbecue.

You’ll need to avoid walking on your grass for a certain length after it’s installed, so talk to your landscape contractor to get the best advice for ensuring your grass establishes properly.

Spring Bulbs

Spring bulbs are planted in the ground in mid to early fall and are left there to overwinter. The cold period before the bulb is planted is an important part of the growing process.

If you miss the opportunity to plant your bulbs in fall, you may have to buy pre-planted, sprouted bulbs the following spring. Alternatively, you can also plant something else and wait to plant bulbs until next year.

If you work with a landscaper to do your planting, be sure to bring up the spring bulbs toward the end of the summer to work a time into your schedule when you can make this happen.

Trees

Trees, like turf grass, do well when established in fall. The cool weather allows tree roots to grow until winter weather causes the tree to go dormant. The most challenging time of year for your tree is summer, so planting in fall gives your tree just a little more time until the harsh weather of summer sets in.

Trees need a lot of supplemental watering in the weeks following planting, especially if the tree is larger when it goes in the ground. Work closely with your landscape contractor to get your tree planted and established before it goes dormant for the winter.

Cool-Season Vegetables

Although most vegetables need to be planted in the spring in order to spend the summer growing and producing, some vegetables are best grown in the cooler season. Cool-season vegetables are usually planted late in the growing season and spent the fall or even winter in the garden bed, growing slowly.

There’s an art to planting and cultivating cool-season vegetables. Some gardeners cover their vegetables with clear plastic to protect them from the harshest temperatures.

Some gardeners actually build a greenhouse in their backyard for growing winter vegetables. The greenhouse captures light from the sun to create a warmer temperature inside than the vegetables are exposed to outside. Talk to your landscape contractor to get a greenhouse built on your property.

Evergreens

Evergreens, including evergreen shrubs and trees, are best planted in fall for the same reasons that deciduous trees are planted in fall. If you’re interested in planting evergreen shrubs as a privacy screen, your landscape contractor can help you decide which evergreens will provide the most privacy and will grow the fastest, for best results.

Peonies

Peonies are typically sold in the fall because it’s the best time to plant them. This flowering shrub-like plant produces shaggy blossoms that make beautiful additions to your summer bouquets. It’s well-known that peonies attract ants, which help keep the plant free of other insects that could do damage.

Peonies spread slowly over time, sending out shoots that can grow your line of peonies over many years. This relatively low-maintenance, traditional midwest plant is an excellent alternative to roses, which require far more pruning and care in order to look their best.

Lavender

Lavender is a low-maintenance shrub that needs little water to produce beautiful, fragrant flower spears that attract bees and other beneficial insects. Lavender shrubs can grow quite large if not properly pruned.

Plant lavender at the end of the summer when the weather is just starting to cool. Planting lavender in late summer gives your lavender plenty of time to become established before the freezing weather hits. This plant needs about 10 weeks of good weather for growing before winter sets in.

Once established, lavender is a perfect shrub for a gardener who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on watering and who also doesn’t want to spend a lot of time maintaining fussy plants.

Contact Your Landscape Contractor

Fall is a good time to plant certain types of shrubs, flowers, trees and grasses. Working with a landscape contractor takes the mystery out of maintaining a beautiful yard.

To find out more about maintaining a beautiful property and thriving landscape plants, contact Hidden Creek Landscaping. With over 20 years in the business, we can help make your home the envy of the neighborhood.

 

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What Are The Best Plants for Ohio Winter?

Weather in Ohio is quite unpredictable and winters often seem severe to plant-loving landscape and garden enthusiasts.  The gray skies, biting winds, and snowfall make it difficult to see the grounds-eye view of the landscape. This typically makes it hard to imagine having a beautiful yard during these cold-weather months.  However, if you would like to ensure a superb landscape all year long, there are options. Below are some of the best plants for Ohio’s winter:

American Beech

With the American Beech’s pointy buds, you will still be able to see leftovers of last year’s beechnuts, which can be found all throughout all of Ohio. The tapering surface roots and smooth, steel-gray bark make these trees easily recognized and wonderful to see, even from a distance. Even when highlighted against a bleak winter sky, these trees are remarkable to behold. In addition, American beeches have “marcescent” leaves, which means that the leaves from the previous season remain on the plant until spring (this is also the case for several types of oak trees).  These remaining leaves serve as the spectacular sylvan and golden foliar reminders of the past season.

Evergreens

Austrian Pine: The Austrian Pine is one of the most common evergreen tree species in Ohio. This type of conifer is covered in full, dark green branches covered in pine needles. It also has unique, black and white bark with a checkered or striped texture. It can grow to be extremely large at an average of 60 feet tall by 40 feet wide. This tree grows well in moist, clay-heavy soil which is very common across all of Ohio. evergreen tree in winter

Blue Spruce (Colorado Spruce): This is one of the most common types of evergreen trees grown in Ohio and the United States. This tree is typically known for its blue or blue-silver color and has several different growth habits such as dwarf, weeping, broad, columnar, and pyramidal. Blue Spruces can usually grow to be 50 feet tall by 25 feet wide around the bottom.

Yew: A yew bush or tree is a type of conifer which grows red seeds berry-like seeds instead of cones. Aside from the berries, the yew has small needles which are dark green and grey-green. Because the yew is an evergreen, it retains this color throughout the year.

Scotch Pine: The Scotch Pine is also known as the Scots Pine because it originated in Scotland. This tree has a crooked or twisted trunk that can split into different branches that shoot in different directions. This gives each Scotch Pine a unique look. These trees may extend to 50 feet tall by 30 feet wide if mature and given sufficient room to grow. The tree’s shape begins as a classic pyramid, but becomes twisted when growing and being exposed to high winds. This is a great option to add a unique touch to a winter landscape.

Christmas Rose

These beautiful, cold-loving flowers are nicknamed Christmas Rose due to their unlikely habit of blooming outside in early winter. With the right conditions, these flowers can brighten your landscape and your porch well into the New Year. They also stay through early spring. Planting this perennial (which means they multiply and continue growing for at least three years) in the spring will garner the best results throughout the seasons.

Snowdrop Flowers

Snowdrop flowers are named so for their white drop-shaped blooms which point downward. These flowers grow from bulbs and are perennial as well. Snowdrops are not only named for their white color, but because they are known to bloom as early as February and don’t wait for the snow to melt before sprouting out of the ground. While these flowers might not be out all winter, they are hearty enough to survive cold temperatures and bloom before the season’s end.

Winterberrywinterberry in winter

Winterberry is a shrub which loses its leaves in the fall and leaves only the red or gold berries. These bright remains provide a beautiful contrast against white snow. Winterberry is also a type of holly which can be used to decorate the home during the winter season. The berries stay for multiple weeks or months into the winter season. In the spring, the shrub will also blossom with tiny white flowers that will turn into berries again once the leaves fall.

Witch Hazel

Fragrant in summer, these resilient plants put out clusters of spidery yellow and red blooms that blaze like flashes of sunlight in the heart of winter. Depending on the temperatures during the winter months, the ribbon-like petals of these flowers will crinkle up and expand afterwards. Witch Hazel is a sizeable shrub and as such, the ideal spot in a garden or landscape will offer a lot of room for growth. While called a shrub, this plant can potentially grow as high as 15 feet tall and almost as wide. Witch hazel should be planted in the fall for best results throughout the year.

Cold weather is not an automatic indication that your landscape will look dull and lifeless. You can plant some of these resilient plants to brighten your Ohio winter. Contact us to discuss these and further options for your winter landscape.

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Keeping Your Plants Safe During Colder Nights

Colder PlantsIf the weather gets a bit too cold at night during the transition months and your plants are too sensitive to the cold, you may need to help your landscape to survive. A bit of extra plant care will help certain planting withstand the rigors of the cold. Below are some landscape tips that can be used to help with gardening when the nights get cold:

Carry Potted Plants Indoors

Temporarily removing your plants from the low temperatures is an easy solution to keeping them safe when the nights get too cold. Hanging baskets and potted plants can be brought indoors. Even moving them to the sun room or garage will help to keep them safe as the temperature will increase by at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit. If possible, you should decorate the interior of your home with your plants. They will get the necessary without causing clutter.

Cover Your Plants

To solve the gardening issue of keeping plants warm during cold nights, a tarp, drop cloth or old blanket can be thrown over vulnerable plants. If your plants need protection from a few cold nights, an old blanket could provide adequate protection. To avoid damage, choose the covering and spread it out carefully so the leaves or branches are not touched by the cover. This could require the use of some stakes to prop it up. This technique works best to safeguard against frost since the covering will not significantly increase the temperature.

Add a Layer of Mulch

Applying a layer of mulch will help with insulation and keep moisture and heat in the soil. It safeguards the root systems of the plants against cold temperatures. A good choice is mulch made of pine straw or wheat. This is because it is excellent at trapping heat and is easy to remove once it is no longer needed.

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