In the Pacific Northwest, we are fortunate to have seasonal weather patterns that are ideal for gardeners to plant in the fall. Our normally warm fall days allow for root growth before the winter months.
Growth of Autumn Planting...
The cool evenings, and eventually cooler days of autumn, will slow down the loss of moisture through ‘transpiration’ (plants loss of water through their leaves). New plantings don’t dry out as quickly. The soil is still warm, encouraging root development. Fall rain will replenish soil moisture and reduce the amount of irrigation needed.
Nature provides free, effortless irrigation. The top growth slows or stops when the temperatures drop, and the daylight shortens. Although the soil is cooler, the available moisture provides slow-growing roots plenty of water. Many conifers will continue to experience slow root growth even through the winter months.
As the days lengthen and the air warms, plants begin putting energy into root growth, even before a plants leaf and flower buds swell. The roots will continue to develop through the surge of growth in shoots, leaves and flower buds.
The temperatures continue to warm with longer and sunnier days. Specimens planted in the fall have established roots, are less prone to drought damage, and are ready for a spring surge of top growth.
Plants planted in the fall have a head start on root development and can more easily support the plants new growth with its increased nutrient and water uptake. While these plants require some summer watering through the hot summer days, the larger more effective root system makes them healthier; allows them to grow more and be more resilient to the drier summer weather.