With the first frosts on the horizon, this is the time to clear your beds of tender annuals. Your bedding plants may well still be in flower, but if you want colour in your beds and containers throughout the next few months, it’s advisable to plant out your Pansies, Violas and Primroses as soon as possible to ensure they settle happily. If you leave the planting out too late, you’ll find the plants will stay green and only flower during the early spring.
Your tender perennials, such as Dahlias and Begonias, should be lifted now before the cold weather sets in and damages them. Let the Corms dry out and then cut away the green foliage. Keep them in a frost-free environment such as a greenhouse, and make sure they stay dry. Once the first signs of spring weather appear, pot them up in new, fresh compost before planting them out again in May. If you follow this advice, you can keep these plants thriving for many years.
This is bulb time too. Daffodils, Crocus, Alliums and all the other spring flowering varieties are now available and should be planted straight away; All apart from Tulips, which benefit from going in later in the year. Indoor flowering hyacinths planted now, will be in full bloom for Christmas. Their fragrance is not everyone’s cup of tea, but their strong, bold colours will brighten up any room.
Once you have given the grass one last cut, dug and tidied up your beds, cut back untidy perennials, shrubs and roses, your garden will be ready for the winter.
During the dark cold days ahead, the warm, bright spring can seem a long way off – but before we all know it, a new gardening season will be with us, and off we will go again. Another year, with new gardening challenges to overcome.
See you soon,
Simon, Alison, Ray the Jack Russell and all at Askett Nurseries .