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The Best Time of Year to Plant

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Let's clear the air around the question we most often hear around the nursery: "When is the best time to plant?!". Planting in the fall sets you AND your plants up for an easier year ahead.


Fall brings relief from the scorching summer heat; ideal for both gardeners and plants. Cooler temperatures reduce stress on newly planted trees, shrubs, and flowers which means less watering. For most of the Eastern U.S., wintertime brings more consistent rainfall, which is essential for root development. By planting in the fall, you extend your growing season, allowing for a longer period of harvest. You can cultivate cool-season crops like lettuce, spinach, and kale, or get a head start on early spring flowers like pansy and viola. This will also be the time to get fall bulbs in the ground like tulips, lillies, daffodils, hyacinth, and others.


Fall planting reduces competition with weeds, as their growth typically slows down during this season. This means your plants can utilize available nutrients and resources more effectively. Many pests and diseases are less active in the fall, which means your plants are less likely to encounter these threats. This time of year is great for applying dormant oil to fruiting trees and other shrubs to kill overwintering pests and fungus.


Finally, your local garden center (like Bates Nursery) will have their largest selection of ornamental and fruit trees, shrubs, and conifers/evergreens available! Also there's plenty of flowering annuals and perennials too for mixed containers and landscape beds.


So, the cooler time of year is prime-time for gardeners to get their hands dirty. By capitalizing on the season's favorable conditions, you can establish healthy, thriving plants that will reward your efforts the following season.


  1. Will Nichols Will Nichols

    Excellent advice! Just bought a smaller, ornamental flowering tree from you this . The person who helped me select the perfect tree was very knowledgeable!

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