When a chill is in the air and leaves are starting to turn to shades of gold, that’s when you know autumn has well and truly arrived. With the change in seasons there comes a need to change your bedding plants too.
At this time people are looking to swap out their summer bedding plants for some colour and interest for the months ahead.
Freshen up your bedding plants
The first thing I always do when I am changing my pots or window boxes is to give them a good clean.
I like to empty out all the compost and give the pot a good wash to ensure they are pristine and ready for the new plants.
I find this time of year the old compost in the containers has lost its vitality and you are much better off starting with fresh new compost which will support your plants for the months ahead.
Make sure your window boxes have good drainage
Proper drainage is also very important to think about before you plant up your window boxes or containers.
It is even more vital during autumn and winter when they are more prone to water logging thanks to increased rain.
At home I like to include a layer of gravel or broken pottery in the bottom of my containers to ensure the excess water drains freely. In our CountryLife stores we stock an excellent soil conditioner called perlite which increases drainage for potted plants.
Winter pansies and violas are always popular with gardeners at this time of year to add colour. Both are available in bedding packs in store or you can grow from seed.
Both flowers are hardworking and come in rich vivid colours, which means they have great impact during the dull days of winter.
If you look after pansies and violas they will easily flower from now right through until March.
It is important though to keep removing any faded flowers before they go to seed as this will encourage the growth of more flowers after a week or two.
Feeding will also be important to ensure the flowers get enough nutrients to grow over the winter months.
Wallflowers, perfect for autumn
If you are looking to add some colour to flowerbeds with autumn bedding look no further than wallflowers.
You can buy young plants now which will establish in the beds and add great colour come March. We stock a lot of dwarf varieties of wallflowers in the garden center now and they are becoming very popular with gardeners because they tend not to get damaged in the wind like taller varieties.
Don’t dig up your Wallflowers!
Many gardeners dig up wallflowers as soon as they stop flowering and chuck them on the compost heap but I always tell people to leave them in the ground as they will come back for a second year.
In my own garden I simply give them a quick tidy up with a garden scissors and they come back in full bloom the following year.
Top Tip: Don’t forget the bulbs
Every year I like to add some spring flowering bulbs to my pots and window boxes for some added seasonal interest.
Putting a mixture of snowdrops, bluebells and miniature daffodils will ensure you have a great succession of flowers throughout spring.
We’re here to help
If you need any help with choosing the best plants for your garden or containers talk to any of our horticulturists in store. Ask us about our potting service. We’d love to help.