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!!!! Fall is an awesome time to plant perennials

 
gardener
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Fall is on its way and it is time to get planting! What you might ask? Planting in the fall? Yup! Fall is a fantastic time to plant your perennial plants.

This week’s blog post – Why You Should Plant Perennials in the Fall – is all about why fall is the ideal time to plant your perennial plants.

The post dives into 3 different core reasons for why you should plant your perennials in the fall if possible. Unless you live in a very cold climate this should work!

Planting in the fall gives your plants more time for their roots to grow, and spreads out your yearly planting. Plus, if you are growing perennials from seed a fall sowing lets you work with nature by letting the fall/winter chill naturally prepare the seeds for germination in the spring.

Check out the blog post for more info on each of these benefits of fall planting and for access to a checklist to help you get ready to plant in the fall.

What I’m Planting This Fall



Every fall (and winter!) I always plant a bunch of perennial plants. As a wild homesteader one of my goals is to create a number of perennial based plant systems on my homestead to provide food for my family and I while also supporting local wildlife.

This fall (2019) is no different and I have already ordered 350 perennial plants to plant in October (300) and January (50).

The plants coming in October are all herbaceous (non-woody) plants. I’m getting them in the ground after the rains have returned but before the plants have gone dormant.

This will let these plants start to get established before they go dormant later on in November.

The plants showing up in January are all trees. Since I got them wholesale, they are coming as bareroot plants (just bundled up together with no soil on the roots). This is a cheap way to get a bunch of trees but I wish I could get them in November instead of January.

But getting them planted in winter will still help them get established quicker than if I waited for spring to plant.

I’m also going to get some fruit trees and berry bushes but I’m frustrated at how many nurseries won’t ship them until spring. Because of this I’m likely going to get mine from some local nurseries that do sale them in the fall. But the selection won’t be as good.

So a lot of new trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants coming soon! I’m very excited to be adding 375ish new perennial plants to my wild homestead over the upcoming fall/winter!

What About You?



What are you planting this fall/winter? Does your ground freeze too early to plant in the fall? Please leave a comment—I would love to hear from you!

Before you go make sure to check out the blog post which has more information about why planting perennials in the fall is your best choice.

While you are over on the blog most make sure to leave a comment! If you are the first to do so you will get a piece of pie! The pie will get you access to some special features on perimes, discounts at some vendors, and you can use it to purchase some products on the permies digital marketplace.

If you leave a comment on the blog post make sure to leave a post here on permies too so I can easily give you the slice of pie.

Thank you!

 
                              
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I’m planting blueberries blackberries and raspberries around my suburban home. I live with my mom currently and I’m hoping to put in a food forest so that I can learn along the way for when I am in a position to homestead on my own property in addition to leaving my mother a reliable source of healthy food.
Staff note (Daron Williams):

Thanks for commenting on the blog post. You're the first so pie for you!

 
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Daron, I’m going to try this. I have a grow system and can sprout a bunch of them. I’m a little concerned they won’t have adequate root stored for a real winter but it’s worth a few peat pots. I normally sprout in the spring because that’s when plants do it but this is worth an attempt if the roots extend during the winter.
 
Daron Williams
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Tj Jefferson wrote:Daron, I’m going to try this. I have a grow system and can sprout a bunch of them. I’m a little concerned they won’t have adequate root stored for a real winter but it’s worth a few peat pots. I normally sprout in the spring because that’s when plants do it but this is worth an attempt if the roots extend during the winter.



Yeah, I normally plant perennials that have been growing for about a year first (except of course seeds I'm sowing in the fall). Those plants do fine, not sure about new seedlings that you transplant in the fall. I have not tried that. Might depend on how tough your winters are. Here the winters are normally not that cold (zone 8) so they might just do fine. I have new perennial volunteers that come up every year in the late summer and do fine... Please share how your plants do if you end up transplanting some this fall!
 
Daron Williams
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Adamant Bramble wrote:I’m planting blueberries blackberries and raspberries around my suburban home. I live with my mom currently and I’m hoping to put in a food forest so that I can learn along the way for when I am in a position to homestead on my own property in addition to leaving my mother a reliable source of healthy food.



Nice! I hope those berries do great for you and they are a wonderful gift to leave!
 
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Is there a time in the fall that is "Too Late" and you should just wait till spring?
Is there a simple answer or does it depend on lots of things?
 
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I live in the southwest at high altitude (7000').  It's always hot, dry, flooding, or freezing here and so it's darn hard to find anything useful that applies to permie type gardening.  Our rains are done by fall (except this year we got hardly any rain during our 'rainy' season) and I expect our first killing frost any day now.  Fall means freezing nights but balmy (into the 80s) days usually through November.  When real winter comes, it comes in fast and hard.   I've killed more plants by trying to adapt growing instructions for where I live than I care to think about.  Anyone have any info for the permie approach to growing in the southwest at high altitude?  Thanks!
 
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Lif Strand wrote:I live in the southwest at high altitude (7000').  It's always hot, dry, flooding, or freezing here and so it's darn hard to find anything useful that applies to permie type gardening.  Our rains are done by fall (except this year we got hardly any rain during our 'rainy' season) and I expect our first killing frost any day now.  Fall means freezing nights but balmy (into the 80s) days usually through November.  When real winter comes, it comes in fast and hard.   I've killed more plants by trying to adapt growing instructions for where I live than I care to think about.  Anyone have any info for the permie approach to growing in the southwest at high altitude?  Thanks!


Hey, Lif, definitely check out Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains: A guide to high altitude, semi-arid home permaculture gardens, by Lisa Rayner. I believe she's based in Flagstaff, which is also at 7,000'. The 4th edition has MUCH more awesome information than the first and second did, although the latter are easier to find used. Hope that helps!
 
Lif Strand
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Thank you!  I've just now ordered a copy.
 
Daron Williams
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Phil – It really depends on your area. If the ground freezes in the winter and stays frozen you won’t be able to plant after that point. In my area the ground never freezes for more than a week so I can plant all through the winter. Where I used to live in Eastern WA the general rule was to finish planting by the end of October due to the ground freezing.

Lif – My own experience is limited to more temperate environments. My blog is focused on this type of environment. But to get back to your question… I would look at when the native plants in your area tend to germinate and use that as a guide. In my area the plants drop their seeds in summer and then some germinate in the fall, but a lot germinate as soon as it starts to warm in late winter / early spring. To me this indicated that fall was a great time to plant my perennials or sow their seeds—at least for my area. Hope that helps!

Beth – Thanks for sharing that book!
 
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Glad this post came up. I live in “medium” altitude desert (3500’- I ain’t no 7k!) and have plans for getting about 1000 black locusts and 500 mulberries on my homestead. The best place I could find was Cold Stream Farm, in Michigan, in terms of having both trees and the volume I’m looking for at a good price. My issue is: they ship after dormancy, which for them is mid november, but that’s rather late for me (zone 5b, but desert). Thoughts?
 
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Jeremy Allen wrote:Glad this post came up. I live in “medium” altitude desert (3500’- I ain’t no 7k!) and have plans for getting about 1000 black locusts and 500 mulberries on my homestead. The best place I could find was Cold Stream Farm, in Michigan, in terms of having both trees and the volume I’m looking for at a good price. My issue is: they ship after dormancy, which for them is mid november, but that’s rather late for me (zone 5b, but desert). Thoughts?



I bought two mulberries from Stark Bro's, one a dwarf (shrub) everbearing and the other a Pakistan mulberry (grows to 50',  not that I expect that here).  Both were advertised as hardy for heat/dry and cold.  I only dared buy the two because who knows if the advertising is close to truth, but I feel that if the tree was developed in Pakistan it might make it here in my part of New Mexico.

Both came in early August, with some  leaves on them and in "EZ Start pots" -- sort of bare root but in a peaty kind of medium in pots approx 2" x 2" x 12".  The Pakistan mulberry is in the ground and as of right now looks good.  The shrub mulberry is in a large pot under the drip line of my house, and it too, has new leaves and is looking good with new leaf growth.  My hope is that they will develop enough of a root system to make it over winter.  

I'd love to plant some locusts, but I'm only willing to invest in a few trees each year in hopes of discovering what will make it and what won't.  
 
Jeremy Allen
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Thanks for the reply Lif. I’m going for mass genetic selection with a large number of bareroot whips 12-18” tall. I’m just wondering if others here know of a company selling saplings for cheap that ship earlier than mid-November, or if people think the risk of freezing won’t really be a big deal with these hardier pioneer species.
 
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