As the heat of summer begins to wane, people venture out from the comfort of their air-conditioned homes to enjoy the cooler temperatures of fall. People aren’t the only ones who enjoy fall temperatures — plants do too. In fact, fall can be one of the best times of year to add new plants to the landscape. The moderate temperatures of fall are relatively gentle to new plants, giving them time to grow a good root system and avoid the shock of being transplanted in the heat of summer. Fall planting also allows plants time to grow roots before the cold of winter arrives. For areas that experience hot, dry summers, fall planting is especially important, since plants have more time to grow a sufficient number of roots, allowing them to soak up much-needed water to keep them alive through summer.

Most trees, shrubs and perennials can benefit from being planted in the fall, but frost-tender plants do best when planted in the spring after the danger of frost has passed. Once plants have grown enough roots, they begin concentrating on their top growth, which is a sign of a healthy root system.

Before grabbing your shovel and heading out into the garden, let’s look at some helpful tips to maximize your fall planting season while helping you avoid some common mistakes. Are you ready? Let’s go!