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What to plant in the fall

It's not too late! A wide range of specimens benefit from fall planting


Plant these late
  • Maple (Acer spp.)*
  • Horse chestnut (Aesculus spp.)
  • Lady's mantle (Alchemilla spp.)
  • Astilbe (Astilbe spp.)
  • Bergenia (Bergenia spp.)
  • Catalpa (Catalpa spp.)
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.)
  • Pinks (Dianthus spp.)
  • Ash (Fraxinus spp.)
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.)
  • Hosta (Hosta spp.)
  • Daisy (Leucanthemum spp.)
  • Lily (Lilium cvs.)
  • Crabapple (Malus spp.)
  • Peony (Paeonia lactiflora and others)
  • Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale cvs.)
  • Cork tree (Phellodendron spp.)
  • Phlox (Phlox spp.)
  • Ninebark (Physocarpus spp.)
  • Spruce (Picea spp.)**
  • Pine (Pinus spp.)**
  • Hens and chicks (Sempervivum spp.)
  • Linden (Tilia spp.)
  • Elm (Ulmus spp.)
  • Viburnum (Viburnum spp.)

*In many parts of Canada, Japanese maples (Acer palmatum hybrids) are borderline hardy; if so, plant in spring.
**Plant up to late September; mulch well.

Three fall planting secrets
  • Dig a hole as deep as the plant's root ball and about three times as wide, amend the soil if necessary, add a pinch or so of mycorrhizal fungi for better root growth, then nestle in the plant, gently teasing out and separating some of its outer roots.
  • Fill in with soil; tamp lightly and water well. Add a seven- to 10-centimetre layer of mulch, such as compost, shredded leaves or decomposed leaf mould, keeping mulch 15 centimetres away from the stem of woody plants and five centimetres away from the stem of herbaceous plants. This will help the soil stay warm, which provides a longer growing season for plant roots and prevents frost heave in winter.
  • Water as necessary until the ground freezes—your goal is to keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy, until the very end of the growing season.

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