Even though summer is over, and the air temperature is getting cooler, the soil temperature is still warm enough to plant. With fall showers being more plentiful, it is like having free irrigation! However, if it has been dry like this fall, you will still want to water. The rule of thumb is that plants need at least 1 inch of water per week.
Here are plantings you can do in the fall to have some gorgeous color in the spring:
Spring bulbs (tulips, hyacinths, more deer resistant daffodils, alliums) Plant them now and enjoy in early spring. They actually need a period of cold in order to bloom.
Pansies & Violas (cool season plants) Due to soil temps still being warm in falls, it gives these roots time to grow enough to survive through winter. They will start blooming when the weather warms up in spring. Add a thin layer of mulch around them once your soil is frozen; this will help insulate them from freezing and thawing.
Trees and shrubs The timing is perfect for these as well—since the weather has cooled, but the soil is still warm enough for root development. First and foremost, remember to call before you dig! Just like turf grass, keep newly planted trees and shrubs well-watered until the ground freezes, this helps them get a good start before going dormant for the winter.
Perennials (Divide and replant existing plants.) Keeping them well-watered until the ground freezes encourages healthy root system development before they go dormant for winter. It’s great to protect them from the frost either with a blanket or chopped up leaves or even a little extra mulch. We don’t recommend planting or dividing after October 30 though.
M.J. Design has actually planted trees up until January! The biggest thing to remember is that the air can be cold, but as long as the ground is not frozen, you can still plant. Make sure you use good compost, fertilizer, and water to help with what can be brutal cold Ohio winter weather. If you are looking for color in the early spring, now is the time to get out and put those bulbs in the ground.