Fall – Plant Trees, Shrubs Hardy Mums

Fall is for planting!  This is one of the best times of the year to plant trees and shrubs to enhance your long term landscape.  You can select container grown or balled and burlapped field grown trees and plant them in the fall so they can get rooted into their new home before facing the heat of our Oklahoma summers.  New tree and shrub plantings should be watered in after planting and regularly this fall and winter when we don’t receive natural rains.  An advantage of fall planting is that we get more regular natural rains and with less sunlight intensity and heat, the soil and new plantings don’t dry out as bad or as often.  Before you visit your local nursery or garden center, decide if you want to plant trees that will grow into large shade trees or smaller ornamental trees to fit the design vision you have for your home.

When selecting and planting shrubs, are you trying to create a hedge to act as a sight or wind barrier or do you want a shrub to define the corners of your porch or home.  There are flowering shrubs, evergreen shrubs and deciduous shrubs.  There are dwarf shrubs that can work for borders or as a short hedge across the front of the porch. Think about the effect or design you have in mind and your local nurseryman can help you select the right trees and shrubs for your application, soil type and light levels.  It is always best to invest some time to prepare the planting hole for these long term plantings that will anchor your landscape for years, decades and maybe even centuries to come.  Dig the planting hole about half again as deep and twice as wide as needed to plant the ball of soil and roots.  Mix sphagnum peat, a good grade of compost or other good humus or organic matter at one-third to one-half ratio with the soil you removed from the hole and then use this amended soil to fill back the hole as you plant your new trees and shrubs.  This improved soil should help your trees and shrubs get established more quickly as it will improve the aeration and water holding capacity around the new plantings.

This is also the season to plant and enjoy hardy mums, ornamental kale & cabbage, asters and pansies to color up your fall landscape.  Fall is the time to plant tall fescue or rye grass seed if you want a green lawn through the winter or if you need to cover crop bare land to prevent winter erosion.   This is a great time of year to spend more time out in your garden enjoying your flowers, vegetables and the shade of your trees.  Enjoy more time outside on your patio or porch, in the yard and your flowerbed as our temperatures moderate.

Another great fall gardening experience will be the Oklahoma Horticulture Society Farm to Table dinner fundraiser to support their 4-H and FFA scholarships, their sponsorship of the OETA Oklahoma Gardening TV show and Oklahoma State University Horticulture Department scholarships.  This dinner with horticulture enthusiasts from across our great state will be at the recently restored Ed Lycan Conservatory at Will Rogers Park in Oklahoma City on Sunday, September 29, 2019.  Tickets are $85.00 each and the social hour will be from five to six p.m.  The dinner at 6 p.m. will be catered by Kamala Gamble of Kam’s Kookery featuring Oklahoma grown foods.  Order tickets from the OHS website www.ok-hort.org  or call (405) 696-3076.  Come support the Oklahoma Horticulture Society, meet a lot of fun plant people and have a great evening supporting great horticulture causes.


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