Nurseries Celebrate Start of Fall Planting Season
Posted September 9, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — If all the pinks and purples have turned brown in your garden, take heart. It appears the drought may be over and the fall planting season is just beginning.
Dorothy and Bill Campbell are doing what many of us probably need to do -- buying plants to replace the ones that burned up during this summer's drought.
"We lost some azaleas and rhododendron. The rhododendron we'd water, and by the time we'd stop watering and walk in the house, they'd droop," says Dorothy Campbell.
The hot, dry weather caused lots of plants to droop. Sometimes it seemed only a cactus could survive. That meant business at local nurseries was also dead.
"Business was kind of slow just because it was so hot and nasty, and people didn't want to get out into the weather," horticulturist Patricia Leight says.
Dennis not only ushered in hurricane season, it brought us badly-needed rain and helped launch the start of the fall planting season.
"It's been beneficial and I think, because it was so hot and dry, people are real anxious to go back out in their gardens again," Leight says.
So what can you plant this time of year? Trees, ornamental grasses, perennial plants, and annuals, like pansies and snapdragons.
Horticulture experts say to look for a good root system, and then hope the weather cooperates.
For many plants, the fall is actually a better time to plant than the spring, because the season lasts longer. The optimal time to plant is from mid-September to late October.