Provide a layer of natural mulch to protect the roots from fluctuating temperatures and moisture. They will grow and bloom the following spring and summer season. Many nurseries dig bare-root plants in the fall, sell some, and store the remainder through winter. Planting your fall-planted bulbs at the same time as bare root perennials can help ease the work for planting the following spring. Tall garden phlox is a wonderful full sun perennial that can help extend the bloom season a bit past mid-summer. So here it is: Fall is "the" season to start planting*! Oriental Poppies are true garden gems with their large, showy, vibrant, and papery blooms. Water the soil thoroughly, then apply a 2" deep layer of mulch around the plant to help maintain soil moisture and control weeds. Application of root gels will reduce root drying and may be applied at the nursery or by the planter. We always stress the importance of a good foundation. Most success with conifers has occurred when they are planted early (September). Do not let plants freeze. Casual outdoor activities with your family like a visit to the pumpkin patch, apple orchard or, a crisp fall hike are a great way to enjoy the season. By planning and preparing your spring and summer gardens of bulbs and perennials this fall, you can save a lot of work the following year. After all, you can plant a potted tree anytime during the growing season. Bare-root trees — those that have the soil shaken from their roots after they’re dug up — make for easier and lighter handling. Spring is still the optimum time to plant bare-root material in Iowa, but several factors may encourage a fall planting. Do not cut healthy roots shorter, even if it would make planting easier. Because of their evergreen habit, conifers may develop new root growth after fall planting if soil temperatures remain above 50° F. However, if sufficient new root growth does not occur, the seedlings may be subject to winter drying. Plant the bare root plants before you see new growth starting. If short-term storage is required, seedlings should be stored at 35-42° F. Temporary storage at warmer temperatures may result in significant mortality. New canes come from below-ground parts of the plant. Loosen the soil to help the roots grow more easily. Healthy roots are the foundation of any healthy plant. First, be sure to let the plants soak in a bucket of water for a few hours before you plant them. Planting them in the dormant season means that they should establish well – while the top growth may be brown and twiggy, the roots are busy establishing beneath. Choose an everbearing variety for fruit all season long. Fall is a season that is ideal for planting new plants and trees. Most perennials prefer well-drained soil; soggy soil will lead to rot. This article is a web-based modification of the original publication "F-355 Fall Planting of Bare Root Seedlings" prepared by former ISU Extension Forester Paul H. Wray. Most success has been achieved with early planting of conifers. (Mid-october). Trim bare-root plants so canes are no higher than 6 inches above the ground. Test the soil in the planting area to check for a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. Fluctuating temperatures and moisture can be detrimental to the survival of the poppy roots upon establishment. Potting and Timing. Proper storage and handling are critical for planting success. Roots are a plant's lifeline of nutrients, water and, ultimately, growth. Inspect Your Bare-Root Plants. Fall is an ideal time to plant because rainfall is usually plentiful and temperatures (and heat stress) are lower. If there is an especially high rodent population and/or deer population consider the application of repellants. 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