Guest column: Autumn is the perfect time to start planting

Asters are popular autumn plantsAsters are popular autumn plants
Asters are popular autumn plants
Summer is drawing to a close and autumn is just around the corner, so now is a perfect time to think about planting.

The soil is warm and the autumn rains will get plants established before the winter sets in.

It’s also a good time to take stock of your garden and think about any changes or plans you want to make.

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Keeping colour in borders for as long as possible is top of the ‘to do’ list for September, so you may like to consider incorporating late summer or autumn flowering plants such the aster.

The name aster comes from the ancient Greek word for ‘star’, although they are often referred to as Michaelmas daisies because of their typical flowering period in the autumn.

Asters come in blue, purple, red, pink and white each with a yellow centre.

There are numerous varieties f rom dwarfs that measure less than a foot, to tall versions that can reach up to eight feet.

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They thrive well in drained, fertile soil that retains moisture and prefer full sun or partial shade.

It’s also the time of year that nurseries and garden centres have great offers on big bags of mixed daffodil bulbs, in all shapes and sizes.

They can grow pretty much anywhere, even through the lawn.

The easiest way to work out how deep to plant your bulb is to dig down approximately three times the depth of the bulb.

But be warned – if you plant daffodils too close to the surface they often won’t flower.

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You can plant daffodils, and crocuses, from September to October – as many as you can get into the ground or in containers.

Once planted you need do nothing else to them other than wait for a stunning show in the spring.

If you’re planting in lawns, cut out three sides of a square and lift back the turf, put in a few bulbs and then firm the turf back again.

As it’s bulb season, you could also plant hyacinth bulbs in pots, by mid-September, so that you have a glorious Christmas display.

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Once the hyacinths are planted in a pot, put in a dark cool place (such as a garage or shed) for 10-12 weeks and then bring out into the light so flowering can start.

September is when autumn begins to creep into your garden, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to let it all go to seed .

There are plenty of jobs that will keep you busy.

Firstly, look after your lawn – weed it and seed it ready for the winter.

Pick and harvest summer fruits and bring tender houseplants inside.

Continue to sow vegetable and clear out the greenhouse

Collect and sow seeds gathered from plants in the garden and plant spring flowering bulbs.

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