Get ahead of the game, plant in Autumn

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Autumn planting vs Spring planting really is the question?

The more you can get ahead of yourself in the back end, the better off you will be in the spring. If it is all left to Spring, the tidying up and planting, you really can miss the biggest trick in the book, which is to plant in the Autumn!

As long as you are planting hardy plants – which in the north you really should be sticking to apart from bedding and vegetables – now is the ideal time! Just for the fact we still have five growing weeks ahead of us and planting now allows plants to settle in before next year.

Spring is great and plants are raring to go, but if we have a sharp dry or hot spell plants can struggle to knit into the soil and can dry out easily. After a winter of being in the ground they won’t just be established from autumn growth, but also bound in nicely into the soil, allowing maximum spring growth.

And as mentioned with sticking to hardy plants, even a sharp winter won’t damage them as long as they have been grown outside and not in poly tunnels! With summer flowering perennials you will also find much more flower and development if planted the year before.

So the question is answered, Autumn in certainly a better time to plant new plants, but if you’re wanting to replenish old existing clumps then, in my eyes, this is best left until spring. This is because the clump can generally be tired and a little worse for wear, ready for a boost of growth, so disturbing it before a winter could do more harm than good as it doesn’t have the energy of a juvenile young plant. So divide clumps in the spring and plant new young plants in the autumn.

Some of the best plants for colour at the moment would be Rudbeckias, with their dramatic displays of black centred golden yellow flowers, followed by the pastel shades of Japanese anemones and Schizostylis being ideal for sun or shade!

Having just come home from the Harrogate Autumn flower show we have ended the season on a high. Winning a premier gold we managed to achieve the highest awarded medal for our display of autumn perennials, so now with the final show behind us it’s time to take stock, get all the autumn potting behind us and tidy up the nursery along with preparing for 2015.

So why not pop in and if the garden is looking a bit of a green paradise, have a look at what colourful treats we have in store!