October – the perfect planting season

Yes, it’s cooler. Yes, it’s wetter. But the ground is still warm and plants and trees love being planted now. Many gardeners plant for an instant splash of colour during the growing season, particularly for infilling existing borders. You can, at least, instantly see what you are getting. However, planting when dormant can reap richer rewards with little need for watering.

This is especially important for larger specimens such as trees and hedging. Make sure the rootball is thoroughly soaked before planting and add mychorrizal fungi (Rootgrow is easier to remember!), bone meal and a mulchy compost to the hole. Firm down well after planting and stake if in an exposed area. Consider a fruit tree if you can fit one in. Many are self-fertile if you don’t have room for others nearby. For smaller spaces, try a fruit bush such as a blueberry or gooseberry, but judging by our sales this year strawberries are still the most popular berry fruit, as well as being amongst the easiest to grow.

Think ahead to next year and plant spring bulbs now. There’s no shortage of choice in size and colour: from the smallest crocus to to the grandest alliums and fritillaria imperialis, there’s a bulb for every spot.

It seems there are few places where you can escape from the effects of the pandemic. Fortunately gardens are one of the great exceptions and the natural world has continued oblivious to the world’s problems. Let gardening lift your spirits and be the perfect antidote to grey skies and challenging times.

David Hogg

Buckland Nurseries

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