What is the best time to plant a tree in northern Illinois?
The two best times to plant a tree are April-May or September-October because the weather is cool and there is a good moisture supply, according to Joni Cotten, nursery stock manager, Hawthorn Gardens in Hawthorn Woods. However, planting times can vary, depending on the plant and its method of growth.
Bare-root trees are planted when dormant. They are less expensive, and the planting hole can be back-filled with soil dug from the hole. Trees that have burlap-covered root balls are generally planted in the cooler months, while trees in containers can be planted at any time. Rhododendrons and evergreens are not planted bare root.
“Birches and oaks are dug in nursery fields and planted in the spring. Oaks especially have a long tap root, so they do best when they have the entire season to grow,” says Cotten.
Besides mums, what are a few other plants you would recommend for containers for fall color?
I start ‘Dragon Wing’ begonia from seed under grow lights. What other begonias can I use to cross-pollinate with the ‘Dragon Wing’ so I can collect my own seeds?
Would it help to apply a starter fertilizer on a poor green lawn in December? Will it give it a head start for spring? It hasn’t been reseeded.