We get a lot of people asking us if October is “too late” to be planting anything. Fortunately our mild climate allows us to plant almost year-round. However, you still need to be aware of what you’re planting to make sure it will survive a frost or freeze. It’s also best to avoid planting during extreme conditions to avoid transplant shock. Keep in mind it will take newly planted plants longer to become established and they will grow a lot slower because of the colder weather. While you won’t see huge rewards right away because of them growing slower, remember that you’re giving them a huge head start for spring. Snapdragons are a great example. I’ve always thought snapdragons planted in the fall look stunning in the spring because they’ve had all winter and the early part of spring to get established and are then nice and bulky and full by the time they start blooming.
This time of year is also a great time to clean things out. I’ve talked about it before and right now is a perfect time to guiltlessly rip out anything that you watched suffer all summer long. Perhaps it was a perennial that once looked great and now looks woody and half dead or maybe it’s a section of your landscape that just needs a make-over. Either way now’s the time to do it. You’ll have all winter to dream about what you want to put in its place and you’ll have a clean slate when you’re ready to plant something new.