Get the best from your garden this autumn with advice and inspiration from the horticultural experts at Ardcarne Garden Centre
Did you know that autumn is one of the best times of year for planting trees, shrubs and virtually every hardy outdoor plant? The reason is simple; plants establish easily in the warm, moist soil and are already settled in by next spring when growth begins.
Provide a burst of colour in your garden and containers during the spring by planting bulbs now. You’ll find a huge range of bulbs at the garden centre, including favourites such as daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. The easy and rewarding nature of bulbs also makes them a great way to get children involved in gardening.
Having your own healthy, tasty fruit is one of the joys of gardening this month. September is also a great time for planting fruit trees – choose a sunny location and plant a selection of varieties to help pollination and ensure better crops. Look out for reliable varieties such as ‘Discovery’ and ‘Katy’ – both excellent red dessert apples.
Hardy perennials are the life and soul of the border just now as many are full of flowers. Every garden should have star performers such as Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’, border phloxes and alstroemerias, which bring easy colour for months.
A little care now can really extend the colour from roses. Keep snipping off old flowers as they fade and apply a liquid or granular feed to encourage further flushes of flowers. Spray to prevent blackspot or grow more resistant varieties and don’t forget to pick some flowers for the house to fully indulge in their delicious fragrance.
Every garden will benefit from a few well-chosen trees to provide a sense of maturity and scale, not to mention colour and interest from flowers, fruit, foliage and bark right through the year. Don’t worry if you have a small garden, you’ll find many small and compact trees and even a range of shrubs trained on a single stem to look like a tree. Look out for the mountain ash, Sorbus aucuparia, this month, which is a lovely small-medium sized tree covered in bunches of red berries.
Colour in pots
Summer bedding plants in containers can continue looking good for a few more weeks, especially if you treat them to a bit of liquid feeding. If your pots do need a freshen up, or you want to plant up a new container, there are plenty of plants to give them a new boost of colour right through autumn and winter. Look out for mini cyclamen, pansies, heathers and primroses and use them with a selection of fancy foliage plants such as heucheras, astelias, ferns and evergreen grasses.
The lawn is a large and important component of most gardens and really benefits form regular maintenance. Feeding is vital for a healthy lawn and now is a good time to put on a lawn fertiliser such as HumberPalmers, to green it up and keep it in good shape over the next few months. Also think about treating lawn weeds now if necessary – they are easier to kill while they are lush and actively growing. Always use a selective weed killer for lawns such as Dicophar, which won’t harm the grass.