Hey there, fellow green thumbs! Autumn’s rolling in, and while most are raving about pumpkin spice everything, we’re all about the soil and seeds, right? Bet you thought it’s time to rest those gardening gloves? Think again. The earth’s not done with us yet, and I’ve got the inside scoop. Ready for a new planting adventure? Let’s get our hands dirty!
Here’s a comprehensive guide to what you can plant in autumn to keep your garden vibrant and productive:
- Garlic & Shallots: Best planted in late autumn, they require a long growing season and will be ready to harvest next summer.
- Broad Beans & Peas: Sow them in autumn for an early harvest in spring.
- Winter Salads: Think of land cress, winter lettuce, and rocket. They’ll offer fresh leaves throughout the cooler months.
- Spinach: An autumn sowing will produce tender leaves in spring.
- Onions and Spring Onions: Ready for an early summer harvest.
- Raspberry Canes: Planting in autumn ensures they establish well and are ready to fruit next year.
- Strawberry Runners: These can be planted now for a bountiful crop next June.
- Blackcurrants, Redcurrants & Gooseberries: Autumn planting allows them to establish their roots before spring growth.
- Parsley & Chervil: These can be sown in pots and kept on a sunny windowsill for fresh herbs all winter.
- Coriander: Sow directly into the ground; it’s surprisingly hardy and can be harvested until the first frosts.
- Flowers & Ornamentals:
- Spring Bulbs: Daffodils, tulips, crocuses, and snowdrops should be planted now for a vibrant spring display.
- Wallflowers, Sweet Williams & Bellis: These will flower early next year, bringing much-needed colour to your garden.
- Hardy Annuals: Think of cornflowers, Californian poppies, and Nigella. They’ll germinate quickly in the warmer soil, overwinter as young plants, and flower early next summer.
- Green Manures:
- Field Beans, Winter Tares & Hungarian Rye Grass: These can be sown now to protect your soil from erosion, improve its fertility, and suppress weeds. They can be dug into the soil in spring as a green mulch, benefiting subsequent crops.
- Trees & Shrubs:
- Bareroot Trees & Hedging Plants: These are typically available from late autumn. Planting now ensures they have ample time to establish their root systems before spring.
- Deciduous Trees & Shrubs: They can safely be planted throughout autumn while they’re dormant.
- Lawns & Ground Cover:
- Lawn Seed or Turf: Autumn provides ideal conditions with its moist soil and cooler temperatures. Ensure you keep off it until well established.
- Ground Cover Plants: Such as vinca, ajuga, or lamium, can be planted to suppress weeds and enrich soil.
Tips for Autumn Planting:
- Before planting, prepare the soil by removing weeds and adding well-rotted compost or manure to enrich it.
- Keep an eye on the weather. While autumn can be wetter, ensure young plants are adequately watered until they’re established.
- Protect new plantings from potential early frosts with cloches, fleece, or straw mulch.
Brian Sheridan has an allotment in Edgbaston and is a competitive grower. Brian is also a keen photographer and loves cooking. Brian and his wife Mary will also be running a stall at Edgebaston artisan market this year, selling products made from the allotment, including his award-winning relish!