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Plant Now, Save Later

Plant_Now_Save_Later_imageDid you know that fall is the right time to plant a beautiful spring garden? That’s why Save Our Water, Sunset magazine and Sunset Western Garden Collection are teaming up on the “Plant Now, Save Later” campaign to educate people about the benefits of fall planting.

“Putting your plants in the ground now will allow them to develop healthy root systems,” says Julie Saare-Edmonds, a California master gardener and water efficiency expert at the California Department of Water Resources. “Plants planted in the spring are often stressed by the transplanting and then by the dry, hot weather of the summer. Fall planting gives your plants a better chance of success.”

The Save Our Water program was created in 2009 by the California Department of Water Resources and the Association of California Water Agencies to educate consumers on ways to reduce their household water use. Produced in partnership with Sunset, the leading lifestyle brand in the West, the Sunset Western Garden Collection debuted last year and includes a variety of water-wise varieties. It is the first live plant collection to focus exclusively on top performing plants for the Western gardener.

“As the days begin to get cooler, the soil temperature is still warm, which really helps the plants get a strong start,” says Janet Sluis, a program developer with Plant Development Services’ Sunset Western Garden Collection. “During the fall and winter, they can acclimate and take advantage of the seasonal rains. By spring, their roots are established and ready for the vigorous spring growth period.”

On Friday, October 4 at 12:30 pm, Save Our Water, Sunset and Sunset Western Garden Collection will hold a joint Twitter party (#plantnow) to answer questions and provide tips on fall planting. Sluis and Saare-Edmonds will be participating in the Twitter party to help California gardeners learn more about fall planting and water-wise gardening.

Because more than half of residential water use goes to lawns and outdoor landscaping in many areas of the state, Save Our Water has a heavy focus on outdoor water conservation. Californians can learn more about the benefits of fall planting and find indoor and outdoor water conservation tips by visiting the “What We Can Do” section of the Save Our Water website (

Generally, plant experts say early October to mid-December are fall planting times for California. People can visit Sunset’s Plant Finder to determine what climate zone they live in and get guidance on the plants that will grow successfully in their region.Sunset’s October issue features a 10-page special section on using water-wise plants to create lush, colorful landscape designs.

For additional information on the benefits of fall planting, visit or consult the Western gardeners’ “Bible”: The New SunsetWestern Garden Book (available in print or as an interactive book for iPad®, iPhone® and the web by going to

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