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Gardening as the leaves start to fall

Plant Petunias in full sunThe lawns have slowed down to an almost stop which gives one more time to get creative or start a new project in the garden as the leaves start to fall. There are many autumn perennials and bedding plants that look great this time of the year giving a colour boost to your garden or patio.

Fantastic Petunias
Simple to grow and easy to maintain, Flower CarpetsPetunias love sunny days and autumn days are perfect to grow the best. Petunias also look fabulous spilling out of hanging baskets or in containers on paved areas that get reflected heat and where you can let them dry out well between watering. They grow fast, give more flowers per square metre than possibly any other bedding plant and available in almost any colour to suit your style.

There's only one thing that can really harm a petunia and that's putting them in an area that doesn't drain well. Feed them with Multifeed Flowergro every two weeks and nip out spent flowers to keep them growing compact.

Flower Carpets

Ground cover roses produce low mounds of rose on long canes. Our best sellers are the Flower Carpet roses. This is a genuinely easy-care groundcover rose and they are consistently one of the most disease-resistant roses ever bred - ideal for the established or new gardener alike. Simple to grow and easy to maintain, it doesn't require spraying. Simply cut back to a third of its size in late winter. During the long flowering season, this rose will self-clean so that there's no need for fancy pruning or deadheading.

In the food garden

Leafy veggies do well this time of the yearThe veggie garden also changes through late autumn and early winter as the cool season plants go in and the last of the summers stragglers finish off. Keep the harvests coming into the kitchen by adding some hardy and family favourites now to be ready to harvest by mid to end June through to spring.

Generally the winter months are good for all root crops. Carrots, beetroot, onions etc do well in full sun and by growing them through winter they will grow slower giving you more flavour and also lasting well into summer.

Leafy crops such as Cabbage, spinach and parsley also grow in winter. The trick is less water on the leaves and with little rain expected over the next few months they grow more compact. Winter lettuce can be grown as perpetual lettuce where the leaves are harvested instead of cutting off the whole plant.
Read more on how to grow your own veggies here.

Autumn is Bulb Time

Find a spot for Grape HyacinthsIt's the start of bulb season! Planted from late March to the middle of May bulbs are very rewarding in any garden. The range of indigenous bulbs available continues to grow and become more popular but let's not forget some of the old favourites. Muscari known as the grape hyacinth for its upside-down bunch-of-grapes appearance is one of my all-time favourites.

Muscari's foliage is grass like, narrow and fleshy, making it easy to rake through the plants to keep them looking tidy. This spring bloom, which flowers in August and September, should be planted from March to May. Find a spot with light shade or morning-only sun and make sure the soil is rich, well-draining and sandy, with some compost added.

When preparing the soil, loosen it to a depth of 20cm before placing the bulbs 3cm below ground level, about 5cm apart. This plant is very rewarding in that it multiplies. Water your Muscari regularly for even more optimal results.

Protect Screening Conifers

Koinor Protects conifers in winterThe Italian Cypress Aphid may attack certain conifer species in the winter months and into spring. The damage, brown tips on random parts of the plant, normally only shows in September and October. Apply a cover spray or a root drench with a systemic insecticide from now through to the end of August.

The Systemic insecticide, Koinorhas a longer residual action and is absorbed by the plant killing only sap-sucking insects and not beneficial ones. Repeat treatment again at the end of August. Conifers are sun-loving, drought-tolerant and hardy to severe frost. We recommend feeding established conifers with BounceBack in autumn and maintaining a layer of mulch around their base helps to keep them in good condition.

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