Learn more about fall Planting:
Spring bulbs
Lawn care
showy shrubs
Autumn Interest

5 Tips for Fall Planting to Help Beginning  Gardeners

Here at Best Feeds Garden Centers, we are experts in helping our Pittsburgh and Gibsonia customers grow healthy perennials, trees and shrubs successfully,  So come on in and make sure you get the best plants that will get you started on the right path.  Now here are a few fall planting basics.

1.  Fall is a great time to plant because there are still plenty of bright sunny days and the nights are not too  cold.

2.  During the fall months soil temperatures are perfect for root growth.  That is important  because roots are where plants store energy and healthy roots make healthy trees and shrubs.  Also bigger roots allow for more water storage during dry spells in spring and summer.

3.  You can plant up to 6 weeks before your ground freezes. Once the ground is frozen, root growth will cease almost entirely until spring, and that six week window gives the plant time to get established enough to withstand cold and snow. The date that your ground actually freezes varies from year to year, but mid to late November is a safe planting deadline for our area.

4.  Provide supplemental water when needed. Autumn weather can be quite cool and rainy, but that doesn’t mean that new plantings should be ignored, particularly if weather has been dry and/or windy. Water all plants thoroughly after planting, and continue to water them as needed until the ground freezes.

5. Don't forget to mulch. Just as you pile on blankets and quilts when the temperatures dip, mulch acts as insulation for plants. Mulch also creates the ideal environment for vigorous root growth, which helps new plantings get off to a good start. While even established plants benefit from a nice layer of mulch, newly planted specimens especially appreciate the protection it offers from the challenges of winter.

 If soil is heavy with clay it will be difficult for roots to get established and grow before winter . The soil needs to be amended (mixed) with a conditioner so that new plantings sprout roots. We recommend using Best Feeds Soil Conditioner.

The ideal planting bed is rich in organic matter and well drained. Make sure the soil is not too wet to plant. If, when you begin to dig with a shovel, and you find that the soil is shinny and smooth it is  too wet to plant. 

Get your soil ready for planting.

Read more about Soil Conditioners

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best fall blooming plants?

There are many annuals, perennials and shrubs that can add color to a fall garden.  Fall containers can also add color that lasts late into the fall and early winter. In the Pittsburgh we are (USDA Zone 6a).  These favorites can brighten up your  yard well into the cold weather.  Try: garden mums, pansies, salvia, straw flowers, black-eyed Susan, cone flower, stone crop and little lime punch hydrangea.    

What does the term microclimate mean?

 Every landscape has a variety of conditions that we gardeners need to think about when picking plants.  Is it sunny or shady - wet or dry?  But often things we don't think about like is a spot sheltered from the winter wind or does the spot have run off from road salt?  It's all about the right plant for the right place and the professionals at Best Feeds Garden Centers in Gibsonia and Pittsburgh are here to help.