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7 Reasons Why Autumn Is the Ideal Time to Install Landscapes

Autumn is an excellent time to install new landscape projects like patios or plantings. See how your project can benefit from these 7 main reasons.

As the days grow shorter and the leaves start to turn, many people begin to think about installing new landscapes to extend the life of their landscape. Autumn is the best time to install landscape projects, because the weather is still mild and there is plenty of time left before winter sets in. 

There are also several things you can do in autumn to prepare the landscape for spring, including documenting existing conditions for future projects or maintaining the landscape by removing debris, pruning trees and cutting back perennials.

Additionally, autumn is an excellent time to install new plants. The naturally occurring cooler temperatures and increased rainfall encourage root growth and promote healthy conditions for a plant to thrive in. 

Keep reading to see the 7 reasons why autumn is the best time to install landscape.

7. Milder Temperatures Help Plant Growth

Project by Design Workshop

Autumn is one of the best times to install new plantings in your landscape thanks to milder temperatures and moisture-rich soils. These optimal conditions aid in the growth of new roots and establish themselves quickly and easily.

When installing plants during the fall season, the soil should contain a decent amount of organic matter for the roots to grow well. This cavity in the ground should be slightly deeper than the root ball, and twice as wide. Filling the gaps between the rootball and existing soil helps prevent the soil from drying out and allowing the roots to grow into softer soil, making the new plant stronger.

For newly installed plantings in fall, one way to protect a plant is to add a layer of mulch. This layer of mulch is a first line of defense to sudden frosts. While mulch doesn’t only keep the soil warmer in winter, it also helps the soil from drying out in the dry summer months. 

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6. Higher Precipitation Means Less Drought

Photography by Rachel Warne

Installing plants in autumn can have numerous benefits for your landscape. Not only do plants benefit from the cooler autumn weather, but newly installed plants also benefit from the higher levels of precipitation.

The cooler temperatures and precipitation levels of rainwater is the perfect combination for plants as it contains more oxygen and contains less salt and treatment chemicals than tap water.

During the fall season, the hotter hours of the afternoon heat the soil, and the milder evenings cool the soil – ultimately creating moisture in the soil which improves water retention. Regardless of season, watering a plant after installation is an important part of the plants growth process to replenish water lost through their leaves during transplanting. 

5. Established Root Systems

Project by Snohetta. Image by Michael Grimm

Fall is a critical time for plant growth as plants begin to conserve energy for dormancy and develop strong roots to protect their underground structures.

Plants need to develop strong roots in the fall because they store carbohydrates and nutrients which produce growth hormones that stimulate the terminal buds in spring. 

These optimal soil conditions in autumn play a big role in overall development of the plant. Soils that are deep are better suited for plant growth as it allows roots to explore a larger volume and hold more water and nutrients. This helps plants to be more resilient when it comes to drought. 

Click here to read “The Benefits of Soil Testing”.

4. Contractor Availability

Project by TEN x TEN

When the temperatures start to drop, contractors and professional landscapers start preparing for a slower shift in work and availability for contractors begins to open up.

Autumn is one of the best times to install smaller for smaller hardscape projects like patios, outdoor kitchens or pathways because it allows contractors to fill in their schedule, once the larger summer projects are complete. 

Additionally, in some cases, contractors extend their line of work to include fall-cleanups at a cheaper rate to fill in last minute jobs before businesses close their doors for winter, or begin winter services like snow removal.

3. Nursery Stock

Project by Dan Pearson Studio

While fall is one of the best times to plant trees and shrubs, the growing season comes to an end and many nurseries or garden centers are eager to get rid of their inventory.

Fall is also a great time to do hardscape projects. Many materials are still in season, and manufacturers often unload them at a lower price during this time. This lower cost allows you to save money by doing the work in a shorter time. Hardscape projects in fall can even be completed faster than in the summer! If you’re looking for a way to get a head start on hardscape projects, fall is a great time to start.

This season is the perfect time to take advantage of these sales and install a landscape project at a lower cost. 

2. Receded Growth

Photography by Rachele Warne

One of the best advantages of fall landscaping is that it allows you to evaluate and document existing landscapes and see if any plants receded in growth or died. 

Seeing these gaps in the landscape enables you to compare your current landscape to see which plants, hardscape elements, and trees are still in good condition. 

Fall also allows you to plan your landscaping projects in advance. This way, you’ll have time to select your favorite plants, schedule the work, and enjoy the new landscaping for the entire season. Whether you’re planning a new water feature, a complete redo of your landscaping, or just planning a new look, fall is the time to make these improvements.

1. Maintenance

Project by Arcanum Architecture

Fall cleaning can help improve the appearance of your yard and reduce the risk of falling limbs during winter storms. It is also a good time to clean gutters. These projects can be added to regular yard maintenance services and can be completed before the rainy season. 

Additionally, you can discover any problem areas that have water pooling. Make sure to prepare your irrigation system for the colder months. And if you’re planning to plant new plants, fall is the perfect time to do so!

Fall is one of the best times to plant new flowers and trees. Plants will not struggle as much during fall planting than in the summer, and fall rains will be a huge help to them. Also, the cool weather means fewer insects, weeds, and other problems. It’s also the perfect time to clean up brush and dead leaves in the yard. You’ll be happy you did! This can make your landscaping projects a breeze and your landscaping will look just as good next year.

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