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Fall is a good time to plant

The Autumn Equinox will occur on September 22 this year, marking the official end of summer. It doesn’t mean the heat will suddenly disappear, although we are enjoying cooler nights and mornings. For the last several weeks my biggest concern has been the lack of sufficient rainfall to keep thirsty garden plants well hydrated. This is especially important for newly purchased perennials, shrubs, and trees waiting to be planted.

Fall is the ideal planting time. Soil temperatures remain warm until the first frost, so perennials planted now will have time to develop healthy root systems before the cold weather arrives. Most experts recommend planting up to six weeks before the ground freezes. The first frost occurs in Gloucester between November 1 and 10, but that doesn’t mean the ground will freeze. New plantings need water until the ground freezes, even on cool days. Sufficient irrigation promotes root growth before the winter sets in. Once the ground freezes, root growth will cease u...

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