Ever wonder when you should start and stop planting?
When it comes to your planting timeline, finding the right time is typically dependant on the seasons and weather; both of which, are out of our control, but there are ways to play it safe so your plants make it through the year in good condition.
For annuals, patience is the key. They're the plants most sensitive to late freezes and often it's a gamble to plant them too early. We never know when the last frost is going to be and here in Nebraska it's typically around April 23rd but can occur up until mid May, or even later. So unless one likes to replant flower beds and gardens, we typically recommend waiting until Mother's Day or around May 15th.
Perennials are a bit more tolerant of the weather, but still have some sensitivities, especially if using plants that are in a lush stage. If you have dormant plant material, planting can be done about anytime as long as the ground isn't frozen. Once a plant starts leafing out in the spring it's more vulnerable and a hard freeze could stunt the growth or weaken it.
Fall is another good time to plant. The perennials are starting to slow down and they don't need as much water or care. Be aware of when a hard freeze may occur and allow ample time for the plant to root in and establish before winter fully kicks in.
Shrubs and trees can be treated similarly to perennials. They can be planted anytime they're dormant and the ground allows it, but can be affected if leafing out when a hard freeze occurs. Planting can be done all summer, with attention given to watering as neccesary, as well as up until the ground freezes in the fall. Always remember to mulch new plantings; this insulates the plant's base against extremes in temperature and moisture swings.