If your garden summer hanging baskets or containers are on their last legs, it’s time to start thinking about your autumn/winter options.
You can choose from spring bulbs for an early splash of colour, to evergreen shrubs for an all-year-round display.
Now is the ideal time to plan and plant up spring bulbs. You can top them off with winter pansies, wallflowers, polyanthus and daisies.
Choose a universal type of compost, rather than the full-strength potting or hanging basket formulations, which are designed more for spring or summer use. During the cooler conditions at this time of year, plants do not need as much fertiliser as they do in the summer months.
You’ll be expecting your new baskets or containers to produce wonderful flowering displays, even in cooler temperatures. So, it’s important they receive some form of nutrition.
Use controlled release fertiliser in the compost at the time of planting. This will ensure plants are fed when they need it but without any risk of root burn or wastage, as the granules do not release fertiliser when the conditions are too cold to support plant growth.
Place a few broken shards of pottery in the base of the container to keep drainage holes clear. Use pot feet to ensure that water can escape freely and roots are kept off cold paving.
The rest of the garden
Elsewhere in the garden, it is time to plant new roses, shrubs and trees while the soil is still warm. Buddleia, hebes, hypericum and hibiscus also provide good autumn colour.
For coloured berries and winter colour consider cotoneaster, pyracantha and callicarpa.
For winter and early spring colour look to viburnum, mahonia, camellia and forsythia.
You can find everything you need at your local garden centre. Please remember to follow all the social distancing guidelines.
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