The winds of change are in the air, almost palpable, as our attention begins to shift from Summer and its carefree nature to the more frenetic, frenzied schedule of Fall.  Some may say, we use this time to prepare for the long winter months ahead, much like our squirrel friends whose pace has hastened and focus more resolute.  We are very much part of nature’s cycle, and we must heed her experienced hand as she nudges us into action. Now, is the time to plant –  trees, shrubs, perennials, lawns, and spring-flowering bulbs!  The quicker you start planting, the more time your roots will have a chance to establish before the first frost.  If you missed planting in the Spring or have waited to renovate your lawn, or overhaul your front landscape, now is the perfect time to complete these projects, but why?

Fall, which we in the green industry consider mid-August through early October, offers an ideal environment in which to plant as temperatures begin to fall, soil temperatures actually remain warm (warmer than Spring).  Also, historically speaking, Fall brings more rain and far more pleasant temperatures in which to work outdoors.

Consider trees and shrubs.  Planting or transplanting in Fall puts less stress on the plants and allows them to develop their root systems, so when Spring arrives, they are at peak health.

In addition to planting fall favorites, like Mums, Kale, and Pansies, spring blooming perennials as well as late-blooming perennials, like Aster, Coneflower, and Rudbeckia can also be planted.

Spring blooming bulbs, like Tulips, Iris, Daffodils, and Hyacinths absolutely must be planted now.

Lawns, whether renovated or started anew, also benefit from the cooler temperatures and increased rainfall.  Seeding, in Illinois, should be completed August 15 through September for optimal results.  Soil temperatures, cooler air temperatures, and rain ensure good seed germination with less competition from weeds.  Sod can also be laid almost up until the first frost.

Don’t turn your back on your vegetable garden just yet.  Cool season veggies, like carrots, lettuce, peas, radish, spinach, and broccoli can be planted, and some gardeners swear their taste gets sweeter as the nights get cooler.

Late Summer/early Fall can be likened to a second Spring, and in some instances, Fall is an even better time to plant and renovate.  Call Sweeney’s today and schedule your plantings or lawn renovations.  Haven’t you waited long enough?

Plant of the Week

Grass-Leaved Goldenrod

Flat topped clusters of dainty, yellow flowers bloom atop slender stems and narrow, elongated foliage September – October.  Prefers full sun and moist, well-drained soil.  Grows 3-4′ tall and 18-24″ wide.  Attracts butterflies and bees.  Deer resistant.

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

-Albert Camus

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney