How to Plant in the Fall


Not only is planting in the fall a great way to add color and texture to your landscape for the cooler months ahead, but it is actually the ideal time to plant trees and bulbs to give them the best temperatures for growing their delicate roots. Planting in the fall also offers gardeners the same benefit of enjoying this stage of gardening in pleasant weather. Like spring planting, fall planting requires proper preparation, but the rewards will be reaped for seasons to come.

Step 1

Plant a tree in the fall to help it become established in cooler temperatures. Select a site that will support the tree once it has reached mature size. Prepare the hole to receive the tree. Use a shovel to dig a planting hole that is at least two times as wide as the tree's root ball. (The hole should be the same depth as the root ball.) Set the soil aside. Place the roots inside the hole with the tree on top. Fill the hole with the soil that was removed to dig the planting hole. Remove any air pockets by gently tamping the soil. Water the tree thoroughly.

Step 2

Plant bulbs in the fall to produce an array of color in the spring. Prepare the soil by adding organic matter like peat moss or compost if your soil is clay-like. Fertilize the soil by adding 5 tbsp. of bulb fertilizer. Use a hoe to work the materials into the soil. Dig a hole that is two to three times deep as the bulb's height. Press the bulbs into the planting hole and cover with soil. Water the bulbs thoroughly.

Step 3

Plant fall perennials for color. Use a watering can to water perennials that are in a container and allow bare-root perennials to soak for one hour before planting. Dig a hole at the same depth of the plant's container. Add organic matter like peat moss or compost to improve soil drainage. Use a spade to work the soil to about 8 inches deep. Place the perennial into the planting area. Cover with soil and water thoroughly.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Bulb fertilizer
  • Watering can
  • Spade


  • Gardening with Perennials
  • Bulbs and More
Keywords: fall planting, how to plant in the fall, planting in the fall

About this Author

Stephanie D. Green is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and enjoys writing parenting, gardening and human interest articles. Her work has been published in lifestyle and trade publications including Draft Magazine and Savannah Magazine.