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How Fall Grasses Offer Benefits for Growers and Consumers

Although spring is the star season for plant sales, fall presents unique growth opportunities. Late-season programs can reduce pressure on spring production and labor allocation for growers.

Although spring is the star season for plant sales, fall presents unique growth opportunities. Late-season programs can reduce pressure on spring production and labor allocation for growers. Cash flow is more manageable when sales are spread across the season. And for many regions of the country, fall planting is just smart horticulture.

I’ve got a soft spot for autumn. It’s when many ornamental grasses are at their peak. Their blooms and rich colors are captivating in the changing sunlight of shorter days. Their movement and sound keep the garden interesting as the season wanes. Grasses also mix beautifully with fall-blooming perennials.

To boost fall sales, capitalize on these assets and offer “fall-forward” combinations. Curate simple, set combinations of fall grasses and perennials that peak late season, share cultural requirements and have multiple benefits. Make it easy. Give consumers variety, but not so much they’re overwhelmed. Give retailers enticing plants with marketable benefits. And give growers options that are easy and fit their production schedules.

Suggestions from Perennial Professionals

Perennial growers know their plants and their markets. I talked with colleagues at several growing operations about combinations they’d recommend. Below you’ll find one combo from each, with selected marketing and production points. All the plants are good growers in their region and look appealing in a finished container. They have colorful blooms or foliage late in the season (the fall forward aspect), and most support pollinators or other wildlife.

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mginfo@midwestgroundcovers.com

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