It’s time for planting, transplanting, and dividing your perennials & woody shrubs. Summer in Arkansas can be harsh with high temperatures & drought periods. By planting in the fall your plants still have many 60 degree days where root development can happen.
Let’s talk about dividing some of your large perennials to make new plantings. If you have a showy, focal point that you want to divide consider the wedge method. Instead of digging the root ball up and cutting it apart, consider using a sharpshooter shovel to cut out a wedge (maybe 1/4 of the crown?). The mother plant is disturbed much less and still puts on a show for you. The following year you can cut out a different wedge and work yourself around the plant without making too much difference.
Now is the time to plant spring-blooming bulbs. There are Arkansas native bulbs like Camassia scilloides (Wild Hyacinth) and Camassia angusta (Prairie Wild Hyacinth). But non-native bulbs are also much loved as harbingers of Spring and should be planted in fall. Who doesn’t love seeing the first crocus or narcissus blooms peeking out? Many times we’re asked how to incorporate these bulbs in native landscapes. We recommend taking a handful of bulbs and pitching them. Plant them where they fall and you’ll have a lovely drift of blooms.
Native seed heads provide nutrition for birds & critters. Instead of dead-heading & and cutting stalks think about leaving them. Audubon Society of Central Arkansas has a great page that talks about this topic. See the link below https://wp.ascabird.org/birding/feeding-birds/planting-for-birds/
If you’re looking for new native plants that put on a show for fall, here are some of our favorites:
Amsonia hubrictii (bright golden-orange foliage), Aronia melanocarpa (bright red foliage & blackberries for birds), Callicarpa americana (purple berries are most common but there are some white and pink berried ones). There are so many choices it’s hard to stop!
If you need some help knowing how best to create a sanctuary in your yard, contact us. Get your hands dirty and enjoy the Fall!
Plant of the Month – Aronia melanocarpa ‘Low Scape Mound’. Fall color, berries & bloom.
Photos courtesy of Proven Winners – www.provenwinners.com.