Novella on Fall Planting


Believe it or not, it’s time for Fall planting

Most people think of spring as the time to add plants and flowers, and make the world a little greener.  What most people don’t realize is that Fall is also a great time to plant – and in Austin, it may even be the best time to plant.  Our worst weather is the brutal, long, dry summer heat.  Planting in the fall gives the plants the longest possible interval to grow and establish their roots before our summer heat. Roots are what help plants (including grasses, flowers, shrubs and trees) survive through difficult conditions.  Plant in the fall for healthy roots, and therefore healthy plants.

Here are a few ideas on fall improvements:

  • Upgrade your lawn to save green and add green color.  St. Augustine is a water hog that dries out easily.  Upgrade to Zoysia that can take the heat with less water.  Bermuda has a lot of brown under the green, and goes brown in the winter – Zoysia is more cold tolerant, stays green longer and greens up earlier – and is green from the base to tip of the leaf. Consider introducing Zoysia to repair damage rather than replacing the entire lawn.  This is an ideal solution for large areas.  The Zoysia will spread over time.  And ultimately, a mixed lawn that is green and healthy is better than an unhealthy St. Augustine or Bermuda lawn.
  • Lower your Cooling/Heating bills with trees! – Trees shade yards and homes – the more sunlight the trees block the better.  Same is true in the winter – trees are a natural insulator blocking cold winds and keeping the air near your home warm and comfortable.  Plus, plants do this thing called Transpiration that actually lowers ambient temperatures on a hot dry day.  Water shifting into vapor absorbs heat!  Think of it as natures build-in swamp cooler – life is better with plant science.
  • Add Privacy with Trees and Hedges – No need to greet your neighbor every time you step outside.  Add a privacy hedge, or a screen of trees.  Not only do plant canopies block line of sight, the branches and leaves act as a natural baffle to absorb sound.  You may still hear that neighborhood garage band, but it would be nice to drop the racket a few dozen decibels.
  • Fall is a great time to complete that unfinished spring project.  Plant in the fall, and with several months to grow and develop before the spring flush, your flowers, shrubs and trees will look so much better.  A one gallon sized plant put in the ground in the fall will look twice as big, and be twice as healthy as waiting until spring.
  • Add fall color! Most people think of flowers as only a spring thing.  Not so – Mexican Bush Sage, Fall Aster, Trailing Lantana and other flowers look their best and bloom like crazy every fall.  If you don’t have any fall flowers you are missing out.
  • Prep for that holiday company.  We have great fall weather, and great fall holidays.  If you don’t have a place to gather outdoors, you need one.  The simplest solution is a compacted crushed granite pad.  Inexpensive, quick to install, and very functional – it’s a good choice for both large and small spaces.  Plus, they are easily upgraded with a simple outdoor rug to be comfortable as well as practical  A quick trip to Target and your crushed granite space is now barefoot friendly.

Thanks for reading our novella. We want to be helpful. Please let us know if you want to discuss any of the above options.  We’d be happy to answer questions or provide an estimate.

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