With the soil warm from summer and moist from autumn rain, now is the perfect time to get out in the garden and plant for brilliant autumn colour.
Sarah Squire, Deputy Chairman at Squire’s Garden Centres, which has outlets across Sussex, said; “Autumn is a great time to plant hardy plants such as evergreens, roses and trees - my favourite include acers and euonymus. If you are after instant colour now, then a large chrysanthemum or aster will look stunning, or you could plant up a container with dainty violas, cyclamen and pansies.”
Autumn is also the best time of year to plant bulbs, as they need to be chilled in the ground before they break dormancy and begin growing and blooming.
Sarah Squire added: “Plant bulbs this autumn and you will be rewarded with the sight of beautiful daffodils, tulips or crocuses next spring. You can also plant fruit trees now such as raspberries and blackberries and you will have glorious blossom in springtime, and an abundance of fruit in the summer.”
Top Bulb Planting Tips
Big, fat & firm - Choose bulbs that are firm to touch with onion-like skin.
Dig deep - Plant bulbs three times the depth of the bulb’s height, and at least twice their width apart.
Feed me – Add granular fertiliser to the holes to promote growth.
Which way up? – Place your bulbs pointed end up.
Group together - Plant bulbs in clusters of uneven numbers, or mix different bulb types together.
5 Interesting Facts About autumn
When does autumn begin? Autumn is defined by the earth’s orbit around the sun, and it begins on the Equinox and Solstice, which is on 22nd September this year. This is when day and night are both around 12 hours long. Equinox actually means “equal night” in Latin.
Autumn or Harvest? Until about 1500 autumn was called “Harvest” in Britain. The full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox is known as a Harvest Moon. Before artificial lighting, such moonlight was essential to a farmer’s successful harvest.
Why do leaves change colour? One of the most stunning signs of autumn is the leaves changing from green to a glorious orange then red and brown. During winter there’s not enough light for photosynthesis to occur, so trees close down their food production systems and reduce the amount of chlorophyll in their leaves.
People born in autumn live longer. Babies born in the autumn are more likely to live to 100 then those born in the rest of the year, according to a study in the Journal of Aging Research.
Our bodies love to “fall back”. On 29th October 2017 daylight saving time ends, giving us a well-deserved extra hour of sleep (unless you have young children of course!)