What Can you Plant in July? Is it too Late to Plant?

What Can you Plant in July? Is it too Late to Plant?

Large Banner- What to Plant

"Is it too late to plant?" is a question that Nature Hills Nursery gets quite often throughout the growing seasons!

Late springs, early hot summers, vacations, life in general … There are many reasons to miss the prime planting window in your area. But all because it was the 'best' time to plant doesn't mean you still can't enjoy a successful planting!

As the season changes, so do our care suggestions for the types of plants being delivered during the heat of the summer. Water is crucial for plant survival right at the start, regardless of the time of year they are being shipped - or planted!  Summer

At the nursery, they are getting watered once, maybe twice each day! Including a cool-down watering during the hottest parts of the day! These container-grown plants need to be completely saturated and if you take the time to do just that, the success rate is incredible!

So When Is The Best Time To Plant?

Planting can be done at any time during the growing season as long as the soil can be worked (not frozen!). Is there a best time to plant? Well, here at Nature Hills, we always like to take advantage of spring and fall. This way you can take advantage of the cooler weather and plentiful rainfall. 

The success of any newly transplanted plant will depend upon careful attention to watering! By making sure the soil does not get too dry, or the plant is not sitting in soggy soils - you'll ensure a successful new plant installment.

Fall Planting Fall Picture

Fall is an excellent time to plant as the soils are warm. This encourages new roots faster. When the air is cool it can reduce the amount of water needed to get the plant established too. As long as the ground isn't frozen, your plant's roots are busy at work establishing themselves. Also, some plants - especially bareroot plants, trees and shrubs - prefer fall planting to get established, so by the next spring, they are ready to rock and roll!

Spring Planting

Some plants may not be available in the fall so they may only beSpring Picture shipped in spring. Many perennials, summer bulbs and herbaceous shrubs get shipped in spring as soon as temperatures are safe to do so. You'll still have plenty of time to get these established before that oppressive summer heat kicks in. 

In spring you take advantage of the cool air, and more soil moisture in many areas (although cold), which gives your plants a jump start with a longer season by early planting so when the season ramps up the summer heat - they are ahead of the game!

What About in the Winter?

If you are lucky enough to live in an area where the ground does not freeze in winter, you may find that we can still ship to your area. Dormant bareroot plants or fall-planted spring bulbs are an

Winter Picture

excellent way to make more time for you during the growing season by getting a jump on planting in the off-season.

Here too, the same applies - soak the roots on arrival, plant at the correct depth, soak the roots and surrounding soil again very well to eliminate any air pockets, and  then check the soil moisture daily to get to know just how often you may need to add more water to the roots of your newly planted plants. 

So Is It Too Late To Plant and Transplant in The Summer?

The short answer is NO!

Planting year-round is possible because our production team does a great job growing our plants in containers so that we are able to ship plants all throughout the growing season. The key to a successful transplant is water! Check the soil moisture frequently after planting to get to know how often your plant will need additional infographic water.

  1. Completely saturate the soil in the pot on arrival and before planting. Soak it in a bucket of water if able and submerge it until the bubbles stop coming up. Then take the pot out of the water and let the excess drain away just before planting.
  2. Carefully remove your plant from the container your new plant was shipped in.
  3. You can carefully wash some of the soil from the roots or break up any circling roots and then plant it at the same depth it was grown in its container. 
  4. Simply check the soil moisture frequently at the start, adding water to the soil as needed.
  5. We recommend the finger test, check with your finger below the soil surface and if it's wet, check the next day. If it's dry - soak it!
  6. Mulch with 3-4 inches of Arborist Bark Chips to help retain moisture and insulate the roots. This is a huge way to combat summer temperatures and evaporation! And to  prevent soil-borne disease on the leaves.
  7. Continue checking on moisture levels throughout your new plants' first year in the ground, even through winter if applicable.
  8. Lastly, water the soil, not the leaves of any plant. Watering the soil and keeping the leaves dry lessens the chance of leaf spotting, foliar disease, or bacteria on the plant.

Soon your plant will grow roots into the surrounding soil and find food and water on their own, becoming less dependent upon you for all of its water. Be ready with the hose during extreme heat and drought.

Remember that temperature, wind, and soil type will all affect how quickly a new plant dries out!

The Finger Test Watering Method

Get your hands dirty, or grab yourself a water meter, but watering by touch is so easy! Using your fingers or a tool, gently make a hole a few inches under the soil and mulch surface and feel if the soil is dry. 

Stick your finger into the soil up to the 2nd knuckle right at the roots.

  •  If it feels moist - skip watering that day. 
  • If it feels dry - water thoroughly! 

Word to the Wise!  young hydrated plant

  • Rain does not usually generate enough moisture unless it was a soaker! 
  • Sprinkler systems are designed for lawns - which have shallow root systems. Your trees and shrubs have deep roots and need DEEP watering! 

So soak until you see the water pooling, then let it soak in. If you see water drain immediately, water until it pools again until it soaks in slower.

  • Poor soil may look saturated on the surface, but just a mere inch below it can be bone dry. 
  • When soil becomes over dry, it can actually become hydrophobic and just let the water slip past or run right over the surface. 
  • Cracked soil quickly whisks moisture away and does not allow it to soak in. 

In these instances, incorporating organic matter, working compost into the soil and regular, slow, consistent waterings are needed to rehydrate the parched ground.

Container Plants

When working with container plants - if the pot is small enough, just lifting it will tell you if you need to water. If it's heavy - it's good, if it's light - water it thoroughly until water runs out the bottom. If there is a wide gap around the outside of your container between the pot and soil - consider submerging the entire container and letting it soak. Your soil may be so dry it's become hydrophobic!  container plants

Garden is a Year-Round Love Affair!

Planting continues all season long with high-quality container-grown plants and tough bareroot plants from Nature Hills! That's half the battle and quality plants are your start to a successful planting - any time of the year!

So get your fingers dirty and have the garden hose at the ready to plant beyond the usual planting 'window'!

Happy Planting!

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