Your Landscaping & Planting In Late Summer
Planting In Late Summer. How Late Is Too Late?
Well into summer, you and your family are enjoying the bounty of the new landscaping you had done this past spring. But, you get to thinking, is it too late to freshen things up a little? How deep into the season can planting in late summer be done?
The late summer seeding of lawns, of course, is a no-brainer. But that’s a maintenance issue, to ensure your lawn will thrive as autumn approaches and have a healthy winter’s nap that prepares it for the following spring. Meanwhile, while you certainly enjoy all the lush green of deep summer, you’re thinking it would be nice to see a variety of color just as you did in spring and early summer.
Lucky for you, August is a great opportunity for planting in late summer by transplanting florals with luxuriant hue. Transplants freshen a landscape the way moving a bit of furniture around perks up a room. Bearded irises and daylilies are just a couple of examples of late summer blooming perennials that can take the move. They’ve stored ample nutrients to promote the vigorous root growth needed to re-establish once moved.
Peonies can also be divided and transplanted any time between late summer to autumn, but it’s best to wait until the foliage has begun to die when planting in late summer. Then the tops should be cut back, and the fleshy roots divided with sharp-edged pruners. If you’ve never transplanted before, the folks at Country Landscape And Supply will be happy to give you tips.
July and August is often the time when most people’s flowers, like late summer blooming perennials, are mature and under control. That makes this time of year a great time to check out local nurseries and get inspired for planting in late summer. Perennials and woody plantings, if in a container or balled in burlap, are examples of late summer flowers and plants that can be successful when planted.
If the flowers or plants you’ve selected are root-bound, which is common in late summer, make sure to loosen the root ball. Helping the plants’ roots “stretch out” after being cramped within the pot or burlap will ensure they properly reach into the soil of the new plant bed and grow outward instead of just circling themselves within the plant-hole.
Mulching isn’t just attractive it’s an essential in giving your new plants a good, healthy start, especially when planting in late summer. Mulch keeps the soil warmer as autumn approaches, and that leads to better, more established root growth. Mulch is also a water saver. It keeps the soil moister longer after you’ve watered the new planting.
Tree Planting In Late Summer
While it’s possible to transplant trees and shrubbery as well as late summer blooming perennials this time of year, it’s recommended that this is done only if absolutely necessary. Even then, particular care should be taken. Without a full season for establishing new roots, trees and shrubs can struggle and weaken if not properly cut back to compensate for root lose. By and large, unless transplanting is a must and you can commit to the maintenance, it’s best to wait until spring for tree or shrub planting rather than go with planting in late summer.
That’s not to say you can’t prepare trees and shrubs this summer for their move next spring. Preparation should begin with root pruning, which is done by spading the ground is a circular shape around the tree or shrub. Creating this circle urges new roots to grow inside the circle, and that helps the plant make a healthy adjustment when its moved to its new home. Root pruning is a bit of a balancing act. As you root prune, you’ll need to retain enough soil volume to get the greatest amount of new root growth in preparation for the future transplant. But you also want to make certain you can still manage and move that heavy soil ball when the time comes.
It’s no surprise that spring is the ideal time for transplanting many flowering plants, even those that are traditionally late summer blooming perennials. But transplanting late summer flowers is perfectly fine when done no later than when leaves begin falling. This allows plants to get their roots established in time for winter. Still, if your ground is a heavy soil like clay, dividing earlier rather than later is recommended. Heavy soil is prone to frost heaving, so new plantings need more time to establish good root growth and successfully weather the stress.
Transplanting in late summer can be a little daunting. But the folks at Country Landscape And Supply are always ready to help with advice and garden design. Whether you’re interested in transforming yard space into a shade garden for next summer, a series of small gardens to lend visual interest or something else entirely, our 35 years of experience is at your service.