Autumn – the forgotten season

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We have become a nation of spring gardeners! This is mainly due to our love of warmth & the relief that winter is over. However your garden would be so much better with a little ‘gardening’ in August, September & October.

The big advantage to plants (and ultimately you) is that the warm soil, & the increasing rainfall of autumn, means all hardy garden plants planted over this period establish quicklyproduce stronger plants & you don’t need to water as much as spring planting.

Did you know that newly planted hardy garden plants produce new roots in the warm soil up until around mid December if you plant before the end of October? This is why you have better & stronger establishment.

Stronger plants have more resistance to pests & diseases,  produce more flowers & fruit, & fill your spaces more quickly.

Winter flowering Pansies are the most important winter flowering plant for your garden. Ideal as hot spots of colour in a border, & perfect for winter pots & baskets. Everyone should grow them.

Use bright coloured Pansies for the best effect in Winter.

Many ‘newer gardeners’ don’t realise that this period is when you should plant spring flowering bulbs. Spring flower bulb gardening is the easiest gardening of the year. Each small & great value bulb contains everything needed to produce tough & beautiful flower shows every spring. By planting a variety of bulbs you could have flowers from late January to May in your garden. Plus many dwarf varieties are ideal for pots & even hanging baskets along with winter pansies. Spring flowering bulbs are available from late August. Narcissus Tete a Tete is ideal for pots & the top of winter hanging baskets.

My tip for the best results is plant as early as possible & before the end of September to produce big strong plants before the colder weather. If your summer bedding looks good then, pot them into bigger pots or plant separate winter pots & baskets that way you can miraculously replace the instant the summer ones fade. You will impress the neighbours.

Autumn lawn care is the last vital job but the one that will save you hours next spring. Autumn Lawn treatments are designed to give you a strong, healthy lawn before winter. In America it’s called ‘winterising’. Most autumn lawn feeds also kill moss. If your lawn is strong before winter it will compete with moss & any harsh weather giving you a stronger lawn in spring. A strong lawn in spring is easier to care for.

Up to the middle of October is also a great time to over seed a thin lawn. If you can kill the moss in late September, you can overseed in a couple of weeks later. The same principles apply that help hardy garden plants & help your newly sown lawn, that is warm soils and increased rain.

These few, &simple tasks, spread over these three months won’t tax anyone & will make such a difference to your garden.

Don’t miss out on a better garden, it’s great gardening time of year.

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