Quick garden jobs to do now (thank us next spring)
What to plant for winter colour (and veg), spring bulb displays and a glorious fruit harvest next summer.
You might think that the cooler weather marks the end of the gardening season. Not so! With a few trips to the garden centre and a bit of planting, you can have colour throughout winter, cold weather veg, glorious spring bulb displays and wonderful new fruit trees next summer! But, you’ll need to act now. We chatted to James Carpenter, of Carpenter’s Nursery, just outside St Albans, about the most important things to do in the garden this September. Over to you, James.
Keep things going!
It’s a changeover period from summer season to autumn, but if your bedding plants are still looking good just keep feeding them (with Miracle Grow and phostrogen-based fertilsers) if you want them to keep flowering into October. Begonias, Marigolds and others will keep going for another few months yet.
If you feel like it’s time for a change, you can start to take out certain things if they’re past their best and replace them with new bedding. There are lots of options available – for example, we’ve got a big range of pansies, violas and bellis which are looking really good right now. And they’ll keep going until May or June next year, so they’re great value for money.
Cyclamen are another great thing to plant now – they’re perfect for beds, pots and window boxes. And they’re nice and colourful and reasonably hardy – they’ll go down to minus two or three degrees. This pretty and festive flower also looks great around Christmas, too.
Plant fruit trees now (and a bit more veg)
Fruit bushes and trees will be hitting the garden centres around now. So, September and October is the prime time to be planting raspberry canes, blackberries, blackcurrants, and fruit trees of all sorts – plums, apples etc.- can also go in now. If they are well established plants, there’s every chance you’ll be able to harvest fruit from them next year.
You can also plant in kale, Winter cabbage, leeks, Tenderstem broccoli and sprouts for Christmas if you’re keen on your veg. And you can keep planting spinach and chard – especially if you’ve got a cold frame or a tunnel. We’re probably going to put our last bed of that in next week.
Bulbs – daffodils, tulips, and many many others, are one of things you can start planning now about now. We’ve just got our bulbs in this week, so it’s probably a little early to plant them out, but mid to late September through until November is fine. Also, because the winters are so mild now, you can get away with planting stuff up right until the end of November. You can also start purchasing and preparing hyacinth and narcissus bulbs if you want some colour inside in December.