Nature’s Time to Plant
As we firmly approach autumn, now is the time to enjoy the slower pace of the garden, take advantage of the perfect climate for both planting and planning – as well as simply being able to savour time in the wonderful outdoors for as long as the mild weather allows.
While summer days may be spent, autumn represents a time of hope for gardeners – it is nature’s time to plant, offering the chance to enjoy one of the most exciting of gardening activities. For helpful step-by-step advice, visit our Autumn Gardening Video series.
Lawn Care – time to turf
It isn’t hard to see the damage of summer’s heat on grassy areas and lawns but, the good news is now is the time to remedy this as we head into cooler days and more frequent rainfall. Autumn is the perfect time to help restore the lawn to its former glory with a few easy wins, including the sowing of grass seed -try Gro-Sure Smart Seed (£17.99/40sqm) – or the laying of turf if required. Consider applying an autumn lawn treatment to established lawns, such as organic-based Viano Lawn Boost (£29.99 – 10kg/200m) enriched with magnesium and iron, to promote root development and strengthen the grass to withstand the winter. Useful tools include the Stainless Steel Scarifier (£39.99) to help take up dead grass and moss and the Wilkinson Sword Rake (£37.99) – both great investment pieces for the garden. Sarah Squire, Chairman, comments: “Increase the height of mower blades for the final cuts of the year. Scarify by giving the lawn a good rake to remove dead material and encourage the grass to thicken by developing runners and side shoots.”
Plants that are put in during the autumn get off to a much better start than those planted in spring, so now is the time to get ahead and seize the opportunity autumn presents. Sarah continues: “The soil is now nice and warm and also contains the moisture needed to give plants the very best start. If you have any gaps in your garden, perhaps as a result of the long dry summer weather, now is the perfect time to plant roses, deciduous trees and shrubs, climbers, fruit trees and bushes – anything hardy can be planted now. Plants that are put in during the autumn really do get off to a much better start than those that are planted in spring.”
Autumn Colour Fix
With a void of summer colour in the garden, some quick-fix remedial action can be taken – perhaps planting to fill a gap in a border or brighten a doorstep. Perfect choices that do not disappoint include Chrysanthemums available in a fabulous range of colours of orange, pink, purple and red (5 litre – £11.99 or 3 for £25) and offer a wonderful impact of intense, neat flowers. Cyclamen Harmony Mixed (27cm/£9.99 or 2 for £15) offers a delicate, cheery display – either dotted among pots and containers or grouped together for an impressive, bright presentation. Pansies will flower from now until peak winter, to then pause and return again in early springtime – look out for the great value Pansies (20 pack – £6.99 or 2 for £12 ) or Viola (20 pack – £6.99 or 2 for £12). It’s also good to know that 80% of our plants are UK grown, many Cyclamen stocked are a great example of this. Also British grown are the delightful Harvington Helleborus (2 litre – £14.99 or 2 for £25), easy to maintain, they bring welcome colour from winter to early spring.
Autumn is the window to plant spring flowering bulbs and, with careful consideration, guarantee a full season of exciting colour come spring. Do consider where you can plant bulbs to herald the arrival of spring. There are bulbs for many situations – grass and borders, window boxes and pots as well as bulbs for indoors. Do make sure that bulbs are planted deep enough and refer to information on packaging to indicate the appropriate depth and thus give the best return for the coming spring. Planting bulbs at the optimum depth not only ensures good return for the first year, but also helps secure healthy annual displays in subsequent years. Sarah comments: “From the first Snowdrops to the last Tulips and Anenomes, a carefully chosen selection of bulbs will flower for almost five months, at least into May. Planting bulbs in the autumn is cost-effective too, enabling them to be bought at a fraction of the cost of buying containers of bulbs come spring. Autumn planting is a rewarding investment, with the biggest prize arriving in the spring, with the dawn of colourful displays created by one’s own hands.”
Relax into autumn
Combine garden preparation with sitting back and contemplating the season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness”. Squire’s Garden Centres have a comprehensive range of products to help make the very best ‘outdoor living room’, to suit a range of budgets.
Create a cosy corner area with the comfy Lafuma Chair (£79.99) or for something a little bigger and luxurious try the 4 Seasons Timor Four-seater Suite (£2,999). An illuminated garden can really set the scene and encourage staying outdoors for longer. Squire’s has an extensive range of garden lighting including individual lanterns such as the Wave 365 Solar Lantern (£14.99) and string sets for bigger effect including Vivo String Lights (set of 8/£39.99) or the Bamboo Flaming Torch (£9.99), which is ideal for marking pathways or making an outdoor seating area extra welcome.
Other ‘outdoor living’ additions worth investing in include firepits – such as the Pittsburgh Firepit (£149.99), Flaming Firewood (2 for £15) and useful accessories including Marshmallow Forks (£6.99 each) and Sausage Stick holders (£6.49 each) as well as warming throws like a fleecy Moorland Sherpa Throw (£24.99 – various colours available) to make the most of autumn days with family and friends.
Sarah comments: “We have seen an increase in customers looking to create unique garden spaces to extend the time in the outdoors – for themselves or for larger gatherings with friends and family. Autumn presents the perfect opportunity to really make the most of the late afternoons, as the days start to draw in, but to still enjoy all the season has to offer. With a few carefully chosen accessories, a corner of the garden can become another room.”