There is still some gorgeous colour in the garden at the moment and this can easily be extended into the autumn season.Paraic HorkanIreland AM’s Alan Hughes and our very own gardening expert Paraic Horkan discuss what we should be doing to keep our gardens full of colour this autumn and answer some common gardening questions from viewers.
Roses are in bloom at the moment and are an excellent way to extend the colour in your garden, for example, one of Paraic’s favourites is a double flowering rose called Nostalgia as there is both pink and white in a single bloom. With regular pruning roses can keep flowering until Christmas. He explains that by regularly cutting off the old flower heads the plant has the energy to create new buds. He also recommends using a light application of Multi Rose Spray and feeding your rose on a regular feed.
What can I plant now for great autumn colour in my garden?
For autumn colour Paraic suggests planting some autumn pansies as these are just starting to flower now and will keep flowering into winter. Ornamental Cabbages are great for brightening your garden in autumn as their colour strengthens later in the season as the weather gets colder.
Another good option to give a blast of colour to pots, containers, hanging baskets and borders is the Ornamental Capsicum. Chrysanthemums and Cyclamen are also just starting to flower now and are a brilliant choice for colour into autumn. These can all flower through the autumn/winter period into around January. Heather is another excellent option for long lasting colour as they are in flower now and will flower until April regardless of the weather.
Can I plant bulbs now too?
It is also the time to start planting spring bulbs and there are many great collections available now, such as scented Tulips which will bloom in March or April and look great in pots, containers or on borders. Hyacinths can be planted both indoors and outdoors now; they are great for children to plant and if planted indoors can give a lovely scent through the autumn/winter period.
How do I take cuttings from my plants?
Pruning was mentioned earlier but this is also a great time for taking cuttings from plants, such as Geraniums. Take a small young cutting from a plant and remove any leaves, flowers or flower buds from the stalk until it is nearly bear. The dip the cut edge into the rooting powder and plant in compost mixed with a little perlite.
Can I re-seed my lawn now?
If you are thinking of re-seeding your lawn or fixing any bear patches this is a good time to do so. First you need to remove any existing vegetation by using a safe weedkiller, such as Weedfree 360, and the drier weather is a great time to use it. After a few days the vegetation will be dead and you will need to cultivate the soil and put on some new lawn seed. Your new lawn should be ready by November.
Can I plant fruit trees in pots?
Autumn is the time for apples and for planting fruit trees. If you would like to plant apple trees in pots, select the dwarf varieties, such as the coronet family of apple trees, which are great for patios in containers.
What vegetable plants can be planted now?
This time of year you can plant spring cabbage, kale, garlic, Japanese onion setsand it is also a great time for planting herbs indoors & Paraic recommends Crimson King Basil.