Fall is an ideal time for New Jersey homeowners
to spruce up their landscapes and add beauty and value
to their homes, according to Agriculture Secretary
Charles M. Kuperus.
“Landscaping enhances property value and
increases enjoyment of our homes,” said Kuperus. “Planting
flowers, trees and shrubs is a smart and easy investment
any homeowner can make. In many ways, fall is the
best time to plant. The variety of fall colors in
trees and shrubs is absolutely gorgeous.”
There are plenty of other opportunities to add
color to the fall landscape through the planting
of pansies, garden mums, flowering kale and cabbage,
and other plants that thrive in the cooler weather,
according to George Wulster, a floriculture specialist
with Rutgers Cooperative Extension in New Brunswick.
Wulster advises homeowners to give some thought
to where plants will be placed before purchasing
them. “Purchase a plant that will work where
you put it, not just because you like its appearance,” Wulster
says. If there’s one task homeowners should
procrastinate on, it’s putting down mulch.
Wulster recommends waiting until after the first
frost or freeze for best protection of the beds.
Fall is a particularly good time to plant trees
and shrubs, according to Carl Nordstrom, Executive
Director of the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape
“Trees and shrubs that are planted in the
fall have time to establish roots, even after the
first frost,” said Nordstrom. “These
early-established roots will make plants more ready
to handle the next summer’s dry weather.”
Landscaping can add an average of about 15 percent
to a home’s value and also offers a number
of other benefits, according to Nordstrom. One tree
removes 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air
every year and releases about 13 pounds of oxygen – enough
for a family of four on a daily basis. Plants reduce
noise pollution and control runoff and erosion. Finally,
landscaping creates green space for much-needed rest,
recreation and renewal.
New Jersey’s nursery, greenhouse and sod
industry is the leading sector of the state’s
agricultural industry, with more than $337 million
in sales in 2002. New Jersey has more than 2,800
nursery and greenhouse operations. Be sure to consult
your local garden center or nursery on the best plant
selections, plant-care products and maintenance for
your area. To locate a nursery or garden center near
you, visit the Department of Agriculture’s
web site at www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov.
For additional information and publications, visit
the Rutgers Cooperative Extension web site at www.rce.rutgers.edu or
the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association
web site at www.gardennj.net.