CHARLOTTE – The first half of September can still be very warm and dry but by the end of September and and well into October, conditions should be right for lawn aerating, seeding/reseeding, annual and perennial flowers and certain vegetables.
But in this week’s column let us concentrate on tree and shrub planting. Fall is the best time to plant trees and shrubs in NC and SC. Cooler air and soil temperatures reduce stress on trees and shrubs and encourage root growth. Larger root systems help fall planted trees and shrubs perform better next summer than if planted in the spring.
Before purchasing, take note of the areas where you wish to plant. Is there sun or shade? If you have partial shady areas, is the shade during the morning or afternoon? Many trees and shrubs that prefer full shade will be ok if they get some morning sun. Conversely, areas that receive morning shade but full afternoon sun should be planted with full sunlight.
Soil testing for pH acidity or alkaline conditions will help you choose the right plants for your soil conditions. If you need to improve your soil, knowing your growing conditions will help you choose the plants that will thrive in your landscape with minimal care. When planting, adding compost material is very helpful but just adding a small amount of compost in the planting hole is not effective. For a real boost for trees and shrubs, spread 3 to 4 inches of compost over the top then till the compost into the top 6 to 8 inches of the soil. For acid-loving plants, amend the soil with aged pine fines and DO NOT add lime.
Part 2 next week will address planting trees and shrubs the right way.
Metrolina Mulch Premium Landscape Products can help with your fall gardening needs. Call us at (704) 888-1822.