What Can You Plant in Autumn?
Autumn is a time when a lot of gardeners focus on tidying borders and trimming back plants rather than planting new ones. But there is plenty of scope to add new plants to your garden in autumn. Read on for some helpful tips on what can you plant in autumn.
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Why Plant in Autumn?
The soil is still relatively warm in autumn, so it isn’t too late to plant things in the garden. In addition, the heat of summer is usually long gone, so you don’t need to worry about plants succumbing to heat stress or drought. Pests and diseases are less of a threat in the cooler weather of autumn, and in the UK, rain is a lot more prevalent as summer segues into autumn.
Autumn is the perfect time to plant spring-flowering bulbs like tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and alliums. They need to be planted now so they can have a few months to settle in the ground before blooming in the spring. Make sure you wait until the soil has cooled off and nighttime temperatures are 50 degrees or lower, or your spring bulbs might flower too soon.
Autumn Fall Flowers
Just because summer is over it doesn’t mean your garden needs to look drab and boring. There are plenty of annuals that do well in colder weather and will brighten up your garden. Good examples of autumn flowering annuals include pansies and violas, which are perfect for autumnal hanging baskets, tubs and containers, and also borders. They are resistant to frost and will be happy even when the temperatures fall just below zero.
Other flowering annuals that tolerate cold weather include chrysanthemums, lobelia, and sweet alyssum. You might also want to plant some ornamental cabbages, as these add some flair to borders when they turn pretty shades of purple and pink.
There are plenty of veggies you can plant in the autumn, both for consumption over autumn and winter, and also so they are ready in the spring. Many fast-growing root vegetables do well in cooler weather, for example, beetroot and radishes. If you want spring onions and garlic ready for spring, plant them too.
It’s best to grow vegetables that mature in 70 days or less, in case we get a very harsh winter. Check the seed packet and do the maths to figure out when they will be ready to harvest.
Perennials, Shrubs & Trees
Autumn is a good time to plant shrubs, perennials, and trees because the cooler temperatures encourage strong root development. Plant in early autumn, so they have a chance to get established before the ground gets too cold.
Now is also a good time to divide larger perennials and split them into small plants. If you wait until the weather gets too cold, the plants will suffer stress and fail to establish new roots needed to thrive.
Protect Your Autumn Plants
Protect your autumn annuals, perennials, and shrubs with a thick layer of mulch. This helps keep the soil warmer for longer once the temperatures drop below freezing. When done right, annuals will survive until spring, ready to flower again.
Autumn is a great time for planting many types of plants. The weather is still relatively warm and if you are lucky enough to get a few fine days where the sun shines, it’s a great time to be out in the garden. While autumn is a good time to prune back shrubs and tidy up the vegetable patch, don’t ignore the opportunity for planting new plants, bulbs, and trees.
Not sure what to plant? Speak to us for advice.