It’s Harvest Season! (And the Perfect Time to Plant Shrubs)


Fall is here in the Bay Area! We hope you’re enjoying all of the richness of the harvest season.

October is a great time to consider planting shrubs, woody ornamentals and trees. According to the University of California Master Gardeners, Ceanothus, manzanita, Monardella villosa (coyote mint), ribes (currant), toyon, buckwheat are all good choices. Buckwheat has the added benefit of being a cover crop that returns nutrients to your soil.

Speaking of woody plants and shrubs, you might even consider planting your own food forest! October is a great time to plant berry trees and bushes. Blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries can be planted in the fall and enjoyed year after year, producing fruit you can harvest at home. These types of plants enjoy northern sunlight, so consider that when you are planning your landscape.

Whenever you are planting something new, remember to add soil amendments such as fertilizers and compost before planting your new shrubs. Read up on what types of soils your new plants will thrive in (loamy, well-draining, etc.) and create the right environment for your new additions to thrive! Thoughtful amendments keep your soil healthy, and work with your shrubs and trees to prevent soil erosion.

Most shrubs and trees will develop deep roots if planted and watered with care and attention. You can conserve water and support your new landscape additions by watering deep and long (five minutes or more at the base) so the water can reach far below the surface to nurture healthy root growth. It’s always best to water early in the morning and later in the evening to prevent evaporation.

When considering how to beautify your landscape this fall, enjoy the design process! We recommend creating a “map” of your land, sketching what plants will grow best in certain locations. Imagine colors and designs that complement one another and your vision for your land. It’s a creative investment that will give back for years to come. If you want some help, contact us.

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