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we have been re-modeling our garden and...

(6 Posts)
nipersvest Tue 02-Oct-12 15:16:36

it is now somewhat devoid of plants. is it worth putting anything in now or just wait till the spring?

we've built railway sleeper planters to replace 3 rather messy and large weed flower beds, have got people on this week turfing, and we're doing the decking ourselves. but now, the planters are mostly empty. i would like to put some herbs in one, low ground covering plants in another, and not sure about the third yet.

echt Wed 03-Oct-12 08:09:44

Ooh this sounds like our garden, though we're in Oz. All but the back bed, under a huge ti-tree, are raised.

If you don't put something in your beds, you'll get weeds, so go for it. Herbs are good, go for lots, but not mint or horseradish except in a pot or you'll be pulling the buggers up 'til doomsday.

What's the orientation of your garden? How big are the planters? Do they back onto a fence/wall? This makes a difference.

nipersvest Wed 03-Oct-12 10:17:40

we're south facing, and the planters are quite big, free standing, none back up to any fences or walls. agree about the weeds, which is why we've done all this in the first place, the beds were so full of weeds and really hard to get at. am hoping that the planter i want to put some herbs into, i'll halve and the kids can do some veggies next spring.

am so looking forward to spring now, we have a free standing double hammock which i got for my birthday to put up on the new deck. till then, i suspect it'll just stay in the box!

Lexilicious Wed 03-Oct-12 10:46:02

The autumn always used to be the only time of year for planting. Have a read of this! When plastic pots were invented, then gardeners could buy young tender plants in the spring and now people think of spring as the only time to plant. Autumn gives plants a head start because the ground is still warm enough for growth but it is focussed on developing root systems underground. Your freshly turned over soil (and I would recommend dumping a lot of fresh compost / well rotted manure on it now) will be well aerated which new plants will love. You don't need to dig in compost at this time of year. Just leave it on top and the worms will do all the turning over for you.

Have a search for 'bare root' plants - those and bulbs are best to plant now. In your shrub/flower bed you could have a mass of winter and spring bulbs - snowdrops, aconites, narcissi, crocus and hyacinth are all good to plant right now (buy in bulk online or there are lots of "3 for 2" deals in supermarkets/B&Q/Homebase). Then plant tulips in November. If you really want (especially if wind-exposed) perhaps give the soil a covering of fairly finely shredded bark chips so that frost is held off a bit. You could also get a little unheated growhouse (put it somewhere sheltered and tie it down!) to start off seeds like sweet peas ahead of the game for next year.

I have many herbs which do perfectly well over winter in the ground (SE England, sheltered but north facing garden) - some fairly mature sage, rosemary, oregano and thyme plants would possibly establish well in your herb bed, even better if you cover them with a plastic cloche (greenfingers.com are inexpensive). Think about edible flowers too - nasturtiums will establish quickly and are quirky in salads.

On your veggie bed, there are lots of autumn planting options but if the following don't appeal, then just sow green manure for an easy fertility dividend next season. Marshalls, Suttons, Fothergills are very good and will have things in sections for when to plant - young broccoli plants would be my choice, or asparagus crowns if you want a permanent plant that would be expensive in the shops. Onions, shallots are good to establish from October, and garlic should be in the ground by midwinter for pulling at midsummer. I planted (Alderman) peas and (Aquadulce Claudia) broad beans last October and although I made a bit of a mistake not giving them canes to lean on through the very windy autumn/winter, I had lots of huge pods in May when other people's spring planted plants were only just showing flowers.

I could go on for hours... grin ...oh and come and join us on the garden club thread too!

nipersvest Wed 03-Oct-12 11:26:07

wow lexi, thank you so much for all that info, will have a read of your links and also investigate the garden club!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 07-Oct-12 19:50:06

Lexi and Echt have said it all, so I'll just add that Thompson and Morgan have a very very cheap offer on perennials at the moment. They'll be tiny plug plants that you'll have to grow on over the winter, so they won't do much to fill your planters now, but they will give plenty of coverage next year.

Do come and join the gardening club thread.

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