You hear this advice everywhere: plant in the fall. Trees, shrubs, flowering perennials, grasses, bareroot, bulbs, cool season veggies and annuals, wildflower seeds–there is nothing, it seems, that wouldn’t benefit from being planted in the fall so that it can put down roots all winter and go crazy in the spring. Here on the west coast, our mild, rainy winters and dry summers make it necessary to do major planting in the fall. Otherwise, new plants won’t make it through the summer without a massive irrigation project.
So–uh–where are the plants? Sure, nurseries start carrying bulbs, bins of bareroot asparagus, and fruit trees around this time of year. But the nurseries are almost bare–and the few scraggly perennials that are left are marked down and shoved off in a corner to make way for holiday greens.
I was at a nursery last week and when an employee asked if he could help me, I said, "Well, I’m just looking for stuff to plant. It’s the season to plant, you know." He just laughed and said, "Yeah, it’s ironic–but we can’t get anything in this time of year and we wouldn’t have time to get it all sold anyway."
So there you go. Fall planting may be best for the garden, but I guess it’s just not convenient for the nursery industry. Wait for spring, when overfed flowering annuals will crowd the parking lot at your local garden center.
Let’s tell ’em what we think.