Cooler days, chilly nights and trees dressed in their russet, orange and fiery red shortly to depart leaves all herald the end of summer and the coming of winter. Autumn, traditionally, was the time to plant. This was largely due to many plants being sold as ‘bare roots’ which are better lifted and replanted in cool damp conditions, as they start to go dormant, which allow the roots to recover without the danger of drying out. However, although bare root planting will result in some casualties, (no plant really likes having it’s root system completely disturbed) it remains the most cost effective method of planting large numbers of small plants, such as those for a hedge, where the odd failure makes little difference.
These days the advent of container grown plants, means planting is possible all year round, though plants should never be inserted into frozen or waterlogged ground, and those planted in summer heat will need a drink every day for at least the first couple of months.
Autumn though remains a great time to plant. The soil is still warm and workable and the winter rains will enable the plant to concentrate on creating a good solid foundation of roots, before throwing up their framework later on in spring. All manner of plants can be planted now, and don’t forget the fantastic array of spring bulbs, many of which can be planted right through Autumn and up until Christmas. A little effort now for a fabulous spring display!