The Perfect Planting Weather

October 25, 2011

Just a quick note to say what perfect planting weather we're having! Fall is the absolute best time in Texas to plant just about everything; trees, shrubs, groundcover, perennials, bulbs and cold hardy herbs and veggies. Planting now gives your plants a good 8-9 months to start getting established before the onset of summer stress. If you planted warm season veggies at the beginning of summer, and cold-hardy veggies and herbs in late-August and September, then you're probably harvesting along with me. Currently, I'm seeding more salad greens and planting cole crops (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), daffodils, Dutch iris, pansies and violas and Iceland poppies. OH and purple Pak Choi. Be sure to check out my article on growing Pak Choi in the Nov/Dec issue of Neil Sperry's Gardens Magazine.

Often you may find it difficult to find certain plants you would want to plant in fall. Thus, I often hear the complaint that "I don't plant in fall because no one has what I want..." Well, this comes down to a classic supply and demand situation. Most folks plant in spring. Period. In fact, most independent garden center customers shop a few times in spring, then don't go back until the next spring. Much of this behavior has to do with the fact that many Texas residents are transplants from up North, where spring is traditionally your one main planting season and it is the best time to get new plantings established. That's just not the case here in Texas, where we have a year-round gardening climate. So, gardening consumers have conditioned the growing market to cater to spring when it comes to providing the biggest and best selection of plant material. Good independent garden centers will work hard to bring in the best selection they can in fall and keep encouraging you to plant. But alas, with traffic being so much slower than it is in spring, there is often just not enough supply or supply of certain items available from the growers for fall...because there has traditionally been so much less demand. Chicken and egg kind of situation. So, you should plant in fall...and if you want more to select from, then make a point to visit your local garden centers this fall to shop and be sure to tell staff what you're looking for! Happy planting...

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