Want to achieve a beautiful garden next spring? The trick is to start planning now…

Want to achieve a beautiful garden next spring? The trick is to start planning now…

To achieve a sea of colour next year, start planting crocuses and daffodils. Don’t worry about planting tulips just yet – it’s fine to leave them until a bit later say the horticultural team at Birmingham
Botanical Gardens.

To keep your garden looking magnificent, continue to dead head and feed your baskets, tubs and urns.

New perennials can be planted, as the plants can put down new roots whilst the soil is still warm and there is more moisture around. Existing clumps can be split if required; if a clump has been undivided for three to four years, flowering quality may be decreasing – splitting the clump will renew its vigour.

Whilst nobody wants to tempt fate, it’s time to start planning ahead for the autumn frosts. Tender perennials will need lifting, and cuttings can still be taken. Cannas and dahlias can be left until the first frost.

New lawns or bare patches can be sown or turfed. Now is a good time to do so because the soil is warm and there is more moisture around.

Your lawns won’t need much cutting this month, so the height of the cut can be raised and frequency reduced. Now is also a great time to scarify and aerate to improve your sward.

It’s a good time to be cutting deciduous hedges now. Evergreen hedges will also benefit from a final trim for the year. Sow green manures in empty areas in the vegetable patch to add nitrogen and vegetable matter to the soil when it is dug into the patch later.

Now is a great time to propagate tender plants for next year’s display. Plectranthus (coleus), Pelargonium (geranium) and Salvia can be propagated by cuttings now and will make a good-sized plant before the weather turns cold. For the best results, take cuttings from healthy and non-flowering stems. They should be about 10cm long and cut just below a node, which is the part of the stem from which one or more leaves emerge, often forming a slight swell.

Once this has been done, remove the lower leaves to prevent them from rotting and pot into a free draining compost mix. We recommend 75% multipurpose compost and 25% sand, grit or perlite. Water when the compost is dry and place in a warm, shady place.

In the vegetable patch, be sure to plant spring cabbages and harvest main crop potatoes. Leave any storage marrows, squashes and pumpkins on the plant as long as possible to ripen.

Feeling motivated? Why not visit Birmingham Botanical Gardens for more inspiration. Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

UPCOMING EVENTS

01/10 Cactus Show
23/10 Half Term Fun
04/11 Fireworks Display
04/11-25/11 DSLR Photography Courses
29/11- 01/01 Christmas at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

To find out more visit www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk