Oklahoma State Fair, Football Season and Fall Planting!

Fall is for planting and both the Oklahoma State Fair and football season have arrived so fall must be here! Suddenly we are overwhelmed with gardening opportunities.  Now is a great time to plant all the seasonal color for fall including hardy mums, pansies, asters, flowering kale and cabbage.  The hardy mums and asters will make a spectacular flower show from late September until the first hard freeze which usually hits us in November.  The pansies, ornamental kale and cabbage will start providing color over the next few weeks and will actually provide flowers and color well into the winter or even all winter depending on their planting location and how hard our winter weather gets.

From now until mid October is the prime time to plant cool season lawn grasses like tall fescue or turf type rye grasses if you want to enjoy a green lawn though the winter months. Fall planting of these cool season turf grasses in sunny areas will liven up the dull, dreary short days of winter.  These turf plantings can overseed your summer Bermuda grass lawn or can be sown on open ground to establish a good and attractive cover crop until you can sow warm season grasses next spring.

This is a great time to plant trees and shrubs in the Oklahoma landscape. Many horticulturists like fall tree planting even better than spring plantings as it gives the newly planted trees more time to get rooted into their new home or soil before facing the hot dry brutal summers they must sometimes endure in our beloved Oklahoma.  Even after the first freeze comes and the leaves drop from deciduous trees and shrubs it is often warm enough 6”, 12” or 2 feet under the surface for the roots to grow and get established as long as you do just a little regular watering at planting and during any fall or winter dry spells..

We often mulch new plantings in the spring and summer to keep our plants cooler and reduce water evaporation or water loss. We can mulch new trees, shrub or other plantings in the fall to keep them warmer, protect them from hard freezes and to reduce water evaporation and the need to water as often.  We have lost many trees and shrubs over the last few years to ice and wind damage across our state.  Take time to evaluate whether you have a need to add more shade, windbreaks, or the sheer beauty and aesthetic impact of trees and shrubs to your property

We not only plant in the fall for immediate fall impact with mums and pansies or thinking of the long term impact of trees and shrubs, but we also plant for the coming spring with flowering bulbs. This is the time to shop for the best spring flowering bulbs of daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, Dutch iris, crocus and many other lesser known spring bulbs. Buy the best bulbs now but wait to plant these bulbs until after mid October when the temperatures have cooled a bit more.

Falls truly is for planting so look around your yard and decide if you want fall color now, spring bulbs to greet you early next spring, green grass through the winter or new trees and shrubs to define your yard and get busy planting. None of these plants can grow and beautify your yard until you get them planted.

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