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Popular culture tells us that spring is the best season for gardening. While this can be true for some plants, many plants like trees and bushes may be better suited to being planted in Autumn. Even as leaves Autumn, you can plant a beautiful garden or get a head start on your spring garden. Let's look at why Autumn might be your ideal gardening season.
Springs in North Carolina can be unpredictable. Sometimes it can suddenly start snowing. Other times, it can get really hot. The wildly fluctuating temperatures can be annoying for humans. For fragile new plants trying to grow, they can be lethal. Since new trees and bushes are expensive, losing them to North Carolina's wild Springs is a blow.
Planting new seeds, saplings and bushes in Autumn gives them a better chance to grow. The rain is more consistent without turning into violent cold snaps. Dead leaves can sometimes serve as insulation for plants during cold snaps during Autumn nights or even winter. And they can be used as natural mulch.
Pest control is a priority when dealing with new plants. Newer trees and bushes are more vulnerable to pests and parasites. The thing about planting in Spring is that Spring is at the beginning of the life-cycle of many pests. Following the cultural trend of planting in Spring often means the bugs have another plant to attack.
If you plant your garden in Autumn, you'll be going against the grain but you'll be lining your planting up for the end of the life-cycles of your worst garden pests. This will give your plants a chance to get a more firm-rooted foundation for the future.
We all love gardening here. But let's face it, it's hard work. Things like soil prep, planting, transplanting, and general maintenance, can add up. And it can get in the way of caring for fragile new plants that need extra attention. If you plant your new plants in Autumn, a lot of that groundwork will have already been done.
Plus, having fewer chores to do is good for you. While taking care of your garden is important, you have to look out for yourself too. If you overextend yourself while trying to garden, you might accidentally miss a chore. This can be a problem for new plants.
If a tree or a shrub is battling erratic weather, it won't grow as well as it needs to. Especially when it's fluctuating between extreme heat or cold. Planting your trees and shrubs in the more moderate weather of Autumn lets the plants start growing properly. The trees and shrubs will be able to dig their roots deeper, assuming they're properly watered.
This will allow them to better withstand future poor conditions. Even during the winter, your plant's root systems can expand as long as the soil temperature is right. Just make sure to give them a deep root watering every couple of weeks.
While some plants are better planted in the Spring, many trees and shrubs can just as easily be planted in Autumn with no issue. It will probably turn some heads when people see you planting at a time they think gardening season is winding down. But then again, turning heads is one reason people get into gardening to start with.