Fall Garden Planning - Garden Plans For Next Spring And
Ordering By Mail
By Jill Dow
It's August, the weather has cooled a bit here and the summer monsoons where I
live in New Mexico have begun. The kids are starting back to school and I feel
the onset of fall. I'm getting that garden planning itch again! It happens 2-3
times a year... This time, it's time to start ordering bulbs and perennials for
fall planting. I'm always planning how my garden will look better next season
and I suppose most of you do the same. Fall is the perfect time to plant for
established growth next spring!
Take a good look at your garden now and think about areas you need to fill in.
Do you need late season color, early spring blooms? Are there bare spots or
places where plants like poppies or tulips go dormant and you need a filler to
keep your garden alive with color? I find the best time for next years planning
is in the fall when bloom time and plant combinations are fresh in my mind.
You may be disappointed with a plant combination you chose last season. Fall is
the perfect time to rearrange. Get rid of overgrown plants and revive areas with
new color or foliage combinations. Think about areas in your bulb or perennial
garden you want to develop. What size, shape and bloom color do you need? Plant
them this fall and watch your pans come to fruition come spring.
Shrubs and trees do take years to mature and fill their place. You can get a
jump start by planting them this fall. When spring arrives they'll be much more
hardy and will require less babying.
Fall is the perfect time to mail order bulbs, perrenials, shrubs, hedges and
trees. We're winding down the season and if you're anything like me you're just
not ready to quit quite yet. Sure there's clean up to be done, but I find more
planting helps to finish those mundane cxhores. As I clean out I plant new!
Ordering online or by mail
Ordering plants online can be a bit scary. How are the plants shipped? Will they
be good quality? Will they arrive at the right time and will I be prepared to
plant them then?
Fear not! I've ordered in fall for years and have had tremendous results!
Plant Quality and Guarantees
Nurseries do differ in what and how they ship so make sure you do some research,
but almost all reputable mail order nurseries do guarantee their plants to grow
or your money back. I've never had trouble collecting on that promise and I have
used it a time or two for certain plants. I also admit, a bit grudgingly as a
then new gardener, that I should never have ordered those specific plants for my
climate. Nevertheless the nursery did stand behind it's guarantee.
How Plants Are Shipped
Some plants will be shipped bare root, others as potted plants. This depends on
the plant variety and I've actually found preference to bare root plants. They
do look dead when they arrive (they are actually dormant), but I assure you that
unless they have visible signs of disease like rot they'll thrive come spring.
*Note - If you do get any plants that look like the crown has rotted either ship
them back immediately or just phone the nursery and they'll ship out new ones.
When to Plant
While you never know exactly when your plants will arrive, they are shipped to
you at the proper planting time for your gardening zone. If plants arrive and
it's not convenient to plant immediately just make sure you follow the
directions included in your shipment for keeping your plants viable until you
can plant them. If you've planned ahead you will know where they go and it'll
take you little time to get them in the ground. A Saturday afternoon will
usually give you ample time to get this done.
Keep in mind these companies have been in business for years and years and have
shipped bare root and potted plants for eons. They do know what they're doing
and most of them do it very well. They'd be out of business if they couldn't
fulfill your planting requirements.
Gardening Budgets and Selection
You can't beat the cost and selection of ordering by mail! Most mail order
companies offer plant varieties you'll never find anywhere else. The selections
seem endless and I've been amazed what I can grow in New Mexico. Take advantage
of fall specials and free shipping and you get a double bang for you buck. For
about half of what I spend on a trip to the garden center on a single spring
garden binge, I can have more variety and many more plants shipped to me at
Get on the Mailing Lists
Make sure you're on the mailing list for the following nurseries at least!
You'll get a catologue several times a year. Take it into the garden with
you,look around and plan accordingly. Then hop online and place an order or
order by mail, but use the online resources for their help with plant
combinations and companion planting. They offer great suggestions you may not
have thought of before. Remember - pictures will help any gardener no matter how
About the Author: To order catalogues and find this seasons BEST garden specials
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