Q: I’m trying to wait until the very last minute to plant shrubbery, hoping we’ll get some rain. I know fall is best but how late can I wait and still get the fall planting advantage?
A: It’s all determined by soil temperature at four inches deep. Forty degrees is the cut-off point for root growth. Checking the historical data at www.georgiaweather.net for Duluth, Alpharetta and Gainesville, I found that soil temperatures were close to forty degrees on December 1 last year. Since you want to generate at least a little root growth after your shrubs are planted, try to get the job done by November 1. But even if you wait until after November, I still think there are advantages to planting when you can rather that waiting until next spring.