hands planting a tree into the ground

Have you ever planted a healthy shrub and then watch it struggle to survive? So much of that pain can be avoided if we follow the “right plant, right place” philosophy. This means that you decide not to fight the shade or sun in your garden, but choose the plant that will thrive in the existing conditions. “Right plant, right place” is sound advice that, if given and heeded early enough, prevents beginners from pulling their hair out.

During this time of year, we will even add to that prudent advice: “right plant, right place…at the right time! For those of us new to the gardening game, you may not realize that fall is the absolute best time for planting.

Fall really is the best time to do your landscape planting.

Take advantage and extend your planting season this year. The ground is still warm and the welcome rainy days will give a newly planted tree or shrub a chance to establish its roots before winter sets in.

According to Al’s Growing Guide on the Advantages of Fall 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 as in the intense spring sun. The soil is still warm, until a cold soaking rain, and warmth encourages root development.

Planting in the withering summer heat can take its toll and Oregon gardeners seem to prefer getting out into the crisp autumn air to dig in the dirt and experience the changing seasons from the front row. Just be sure to plant six weeks before the ground freezes - any time before mid-November should be safe.

Right plant, right place

Lilac shrubs have a lot to offer your yard's sunny areas.

When choosing your landscape plants for fall planting, keep in mind the different microclimates of your yard and tell the plant experts at Al’s so they can help you find the right plant that will thrive in your landscape. Here are a few that are ready to come home with you - just stop by Al's, or go to the Al’s online store and click.

For shady areas

Vine Maple is a small multi branch tree that shows reddish spring foliage and brilliant fall colors and grows well in deep year-round shade.

For sunny areas

Lilac shrubs produce vibrant fragrant flowers, bloom late spring to early summer and loves full sun for best color.

Abelia is an evergreen shrub that flowers in the fall and can be used as a hedge shrub.

Star Jasmine is a fragrant vine filled with white star-shaped flowers and attracts hummingbirds and bees.

Sun/partial sun

Gardenia is an evergreen shrub that produces fragrant white flowers that bloom spring to fall and are great in containers, landscape beds and as a border.

Not only do Crape Myrtles look stunning in the fall, but they can fill out smaller landscape areas perfectly.

For well-drained soil

Barberry is an easy to care for and fast growing shrub that loves sun.

For dry conditions

Blue Italian Cypress is a fast growing, dense, upright branched tree. It produces a blue-green foliage and has a tight columnar form, eventually growing up to 40’ and ideal for landscapes.

For small spaces

Crape Myrtles produce large colorful blooms during the summer months. Crape Myrtles can be planted in containers or in landscapes.

Euonymus is an evergreen shrub with dark rich foliage, and is a perfect plant for dense/narrow hedge screens.

When planting in the fall, be sure to give your new plants a fighting chance and fertilize during the planting process. Al's All Natural And Organic Transplanting Fertilizer can be like life insurance for these young root systems.

Enjoy the changing seasons.

I like the idea of giving myself a little gift to enjoy in the springtime. Yes, you can plant your landscape for fall and winter interest, but planting for the future - for springtime blooms and summer color - is a little gift that is gratifying to watch unwrap itself. Future you will thank you for it.