Q: Can I plant shrubs like juniper in the fall, or should I wait until the spring? –Karen, Murrysville, Pennsylvania

A: Roger Cook replies: You can plant junipers any time in the fall. They're a very tough plant and I consider it safe to put them in any time as long as you can work the soil. Remember it is just as important to water shrubs in the fall as it is in the spring and summer. Water weekly if there is no rainfall, up until the ground freezes.

One trick with late fall planting is to mulch with a heavy six- to eight-inch layer of mulch. This protects the plants from repeated freeze/thaw cycles, which can damage roots. When mulching this heavily, though, don't put mulch all the way against the trunk of the shrub or tree. In spring, remove the excess mulch so you have only a two-inch layer. Once you get through winter, the heavy layer is not good for the plant.
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