As the summer draws to a close and a new season is about to begin, you might be wondering what type of plants you should be planting in your garden this Autumn.
Well, the team of plant specialists at Hopes Grove Nurseries have created a super quick and easy-to-follow quiz which allows you to work out what you should be planting at this time of year by answering a few simple questions.
Do you prefer to prepare for Spring or embrace Autumn? Would you prefer low or high-maintenance plants? How do you feel about wildlife in your garden?
Each answer you give takes you to another plant-related question that helps narrow down the search for your ideal Autumn plant. Once you’ve answered all the questions, you will end up with the best plant you should be planting in your garden this Autumn, between Amelanchier, Hyacinth, Crocus, Liriope Muscari and Kniphofia.
It comes as online searches for ‘best Autumn plants’ have increased by 800% in the last 3 months, while searches for ‘what to plant in Autumn’ have risen by 24% year on year.
So take five, grab a cup of tea or coffee and have a go!
Who Will Benefit from our Plant Quiz?
Morris Hankinson, Director of Hopes Grove Nurseries, said: “It’s hoped that this quiz will be particularly useful for beginners and gardeners who may need a bit of a helping hand this year.
“It can be difficult to find inspiration on what to plant especially if you don’t have the time to spend hours looking through the latest trends. Our quiz does all the hard work for you, giving you the plants best suited to you and your garden. Will you land on Amelanchier, Hyacinth, Crocus, Kniphofia or Liriope Muscari?
“Autumn is the best time of year to plant many kinds of hardy plants in your garden – it’s a sweet spot when the soil is still warm (we usually get some nice rain at this time of year too) so the new roots will develop quickly and get your new plants established.
“As the days get shorter many plants will start to ‘shut down’ for the winter meaning that instead of concentrating on their leaves (photosynthesizing and growing new ones) they will re-focus on the root system.”
Things to plant in Autumn
- “If you are planning to re-arrange your garden, this is one of the best times to attempt moving established trees and shrubs to a new area. While there is never a guarantee of success if they have been planted for many years – the best odds of success are in Autumn.
“Try to move them with the largest possible root ball of soil, soak them well both before and after you move them. Increase your chances of success with bigger and older shrubs by pruning to reduce the length and number of branches by 30-50% before you start, this will mean less water is lost by transpiration that must be replaced by the redeveloping root system.
- “Plant potted hedges, trees, shrubs and conifers in September and October.
- “And of course – now is the time to plant those spring bulbs for a great display next year!”
Top tips for Autumn planting
- “All transplanted trees and shrubs do well if you add a little bone meal (well mixed with the soil) into the planting hole. This is a natural fertilizer that encourages root growth rather than top growth.
- “Add some mycorrhizal fungi at the same time for best results.
- “Securely stake taller shrubs and all trees so they don’t get battered by the winter weather.
- “Add a mulch around the base after you plant. This can be bark chippings, Coir or well-rotted compost – this stops the weeds from growing and will keep the root system cool and moist next Spring when the warm weather comes so you won’t need to water as much.
- “Check your new plants now and again over Winter, if the wind dislodges them then firm them back in with the heel of your foot so the holes don’t fill with Winter rain.”
Summary of reasons to plant in Autumn
- “The soil is still warm. This means that when you plant into it – the conditions are just perfect for new roots to grow (pretty much straight away!). While the days are getting shorter and it might not be obvious that anything much is happening with your new plants above ground, below ground they will be hard at work.
“Next Spring your new plants should have a ready developed root system already taking up water and nutrients as the days get longer and they will develop and grow much more quickly.
- “Autumn brings cooler temperatures and usually some rain (or at least a good dew each morning) which means you will not need to water them as much compared to planting in the Spring when the weather is (hopefully) getting drier and warmer.
- “With the shorter days and less sun, most plants will begin to shut down naturally and go into dormancy during Autumn, this is ideal because the plant’s energy will be focused on their root development instead of photosynthesis and making growth.
Plants that develop from the roots up will almost always be healthier and grow more strongly.”