As we start to experience the signs of autumn in Asheville, do you have visions of a beautiful fall garden? Now is a good time to plant.
Those of us who reside in western North Carolina are blessed in many ways. Not only do we live in one of the most beautiful areas of the world with a vast diversity of plants and people, we can successfully install most plants year round. Autumn offers optimum conditions.
There are great benefits for planting in autumn. The temperatures are cooling and the days are getting shorter, so there is less moisture lost to transpiration and evaporation. We also experience more rain during the cool months. This results in less supplemental watering of the new plants and less use of this valuable resource. Even drought tolerant plants need about a year to get established. The plants have several months of establishing their root system in their new home before focusing their energies on leaf and flower production in the spring.
In Asheville, we can successfully plant herbaceous plants, such as perennials and groundcovers, well into October. Depending on the plant, you may even enjoy some flowers or fall color before they go dormant for the winter. By planting in the fall, you’ll be on your way to enjoying spring and summer flowers next year as these plants can’t be put in the ground in the spring until after the danger of a late frost, which is in May. Autumn is also a great time to plant trees, especially large trees that are dug in the field and balled and burlapped.
October is the best time to plant spring bulbs. Don’t let this once a year opportunity pass by you or you will miss the beauty of these spring harbingers next year.
At Terri Long Landscape Design, we can handle your autumn landscape needs from creating a design to enrich your life to the actual installation of the landscape. Please contact us to discuss your needs.
What a difference a day makes! Yesterday I was weeding in the hot sun with temperatures over 70 degrees. Today, the temperatures kept getting colder as the winds blew in. There’s currently a mix of rain and snow. It looks like the weather forecast for Asheville and western North Carolina may be accurate.
You can protect your most highly prized plants by covering them with either freeze blankets or bed sheets. Secure the edges of the blankets or sheets with rocks, bricks or landscape staples so that the winds can’t blow your protection off of your plants. Pillow cases can be used over smaller shrubs and trees and secured around the base of the plant. You will need to remove these coverings during the day or open them to allow air circulation to prevent the rising day temperatures from burning your plants. Although this isn’t practical to do for your entire landscape, it’s a very effective way to prevent or minimize cold damage to your most vulnerable plants, especially from the cold winds. Select the most important and expensive plants, such as Japanese Maples and shrubs that may be flowering or have tender new growth emerging.
It’s also a good time to create a floral arrangement with some of your flowers from bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, and flowering shrubs. At least you’ll be able to enjoy them in your home.
If you see damage on your plants, be patient. Don’t start pruning until after giving the plant a chance to recover and see the real extent of the damage.
I’m hopeful that we won’t have much damage and will be experiencing warm weather the beauty of spring here in the mountains of North Carolina in just a few days.