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Seasonal thoughts from Planting Gems: Why Autumn is the best time to plant

When is the best time to plant a garden?

When is the best time to plant a garden?

When is the best time to plant a garden?

Not many people know this but the Autumn is the best time to plant a garden. Most plants that reach their peak in the Spring and Summer, are dormant over the late Autumn and Winter months which means that there is little if any growth above ground; all focus being on the roots below. So during those cold, wintry months, plants are developing and building their root system, and establishing themselves in situ, so that when the warmer weather arrives, they are in a better and stronger position to put on a good display during the Spring/Summer.

We have noticed in gardens that we plant in the Autumn, that their performance is more impressive the following Summer, even in the first year. Whereas, borders planted in the Spring, take a while to settle in, as the plants are having to focus on establishing roots below the soil, and on buds and stems above ground, and they therefore tend to put on a more half-hearted show that first Summer.

Also planting in the Autumn, when one would normally prune or cut down the plant, and when growth is slowed down to a minimum, means that the plant is in a less vulnerable state and less demanding and can cope better with the stress of being taken out of the pot and placed firmly in the ground. It has time to settle into its new surroundings before being expected to perform in the Spring and burst into life. This applies to most trees, shrubs and perennials.

Trees and Shrubs that reach their peak and flower in the winter months such as Viburnum tinus, Skimmia, Camellia or Hamamelis also prefer to be planted in cooler Autumnal weather, when the soil is still warm, but has become moist.

Spring flowering bulbs should also be planted in the Autumn which means that once the plants are in, the bulbs can be placed and planted around them, for that finishing touch and fantastic Spring display. Starting with snowdrops and winter aconites, through daffodils and crocus, to tulips and alliums, there are bulbs that can be planted in the Autumn, for a long lasting display the following year.

So start planning now!

Anne Fraser and Caroline Streets

Planting Gems


Tel: 07729 835988 and 07930 876348

About Anne Fraser (36 Articles)
Planting Gems is Anne & Caroline and we offer garden help and advice whether you are looking for a full re-design or makeover, or just some help with the re-styling of a tired border.