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I see on your web site that Sprigs & Twigs is a national award winning landscape design and installation company and I saw you installing a garden at my neighbor's house last week. Isn't it getting late in the season to do plantings?

Answer

That's a great question that I get asked every year. Actually, the cooler air temperatures, increased rainfall and warm soil temperatures make the fall the BEST time of year to plant perennials, shrubs and trees. The key to a successful planting is getting good root growth established. Roots actually grow well until the deep soil temperature gets below 40 degrees F. Depending on the severity of the winter, the soil temperature many never get that cold. So even though the above-ground temperatures may be colder than that with a cold wind blowing, the plant's roots are still growing. Plants become dormant above ground, but the roots have months to get established and when spring gets here they are ready to go. That's why you will see Sprigs & Twigs installing gardens in your neighborhoods for at least another month and maybe longer.

As I have written about previously, fall is also the best time of year for turf grass planting for exactly the same reasons as above. Also, there is no competition from the weeds that are dying out at this time of the year. When it comes to bulbs, plant them as soon as you get them in the fall-anytime from the end of September to Thanksgiving for best results. Most bulbs need a 14-15 week cooling period at temperatures between 35 and 50 degrees to prepare them for leaf and flower growth. Plant bulbs in a loose, porous soil with good drainage with some Bone Meal (supplies Phosphorus for root growth) added at the base of the hole. Plant bulbs at the correct depth which is usually equal to three times their diameter. If you forget to plant them this year, it is best to throw the bulbs away since they dry out fairly quickly.

As a final thought, this is also a great time of the year to split and transplant your overgrown perennials. If we can be of any service give us a call any time.

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.

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