In the Garden: Planting Fall Perennials

It might seem like the garden is winding down, but don't miss the opportunity to plant some perennials now for more blooms next spring.

Here are a few good reasons to plant this fall:

  • You know exactly where to fill in your garden. In the spring, plants have died back and it’s hard to remember exactly how much space there is to add new plants.

  • Give plants a head start. Planting transplants 4-6 weeks before the first hard frost gives them plenty of time to develop a strong root system, giving them a leg up in the spring.

  • Worry-free watering. The cooler fall temps and shorter daylight mean less watering for transplants.

  • Promote pollinators. It never hurts to have more plants flowering in your garden throughout the year to promote beneficial insect habitat and combat insect decline.

There are many perennials that are excellent for pollinators. An expert in natives, Margaret Shea from Dropseed Nursery, recommends the following for home landscapes (listed in order of bloom time):

Whorled Mt. Mint

  • Foxglove Beardtongue

  • Orange Coneflower

  • Whorled Mt. Mint

  • Swamp Milkweed

  • False Sunflower

  • Smooth Blue Aster

In most areas of Kentucky aim to get new perennials planted by late September or Early October. They can be mulched with wood chips, leaf litter, or straw. This will prevent the soil from drying out and frost-heaving during the winter.

If there are other spaces, where annuals will go next spring consider scattering some fall cover crops seed. It keeps weed pressure down and builds soil

health for the coming year. Read our

past October issue for suggestions

on cover crops.

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