Autumn, nature’s time for planting: Terra Viva

Since time began, the human race has followed the urge to plant in spring.

We seem to have an inbuilt clock that tells us it’s time to start pushing seeds and plants into the soil. But did you know that autumn is a brilliant time to plant, and if you look at nature you’ll see why.

At this time of year, many plants drop seeds onto the soil, often in the form of fruit which rots down, revealing the seeds. The same thing happens with trees that also drop fruit or seed – eg oak trees drop acorns and sycamores drop winged seeds.

Even some roses form hips in autumn and the round hips are actually seed capsules.

And when grass goes to seed at this time of year, the first rain produces a lovely lush coating of new grass in the bare patches; which is why autumn is the perfect time to plant new lawn seed.

Planting now takes advantage of the perfect conditions for root development with warm damp soil, and through winter the roots continue to grow, even if the cold temperatures above ground don’t produce any leaf growth.

At Terra Viva, we know how much the roots on roses grow through winter as we pot up the new season’s stock. And of course, autumn planting takes away the stress of keeping new plantings watered through a dry summer.

So, what to plant in autumn?

Any trees can be planted, especially fruit trees, giving them time to develop and the best chance of producing fruit in the coming season. Perennials planted right now will give you a much better show in spring and summer than those planted later on. If you planted the same perennial now and another one in Spring, you’d be amazed how advanced the early planted one would be.

Gardeners can even grow their own fertiliser by planting nitrogen-fixing green crops in autumn, using blue lupin seed, mustard, or the green manure crop mix; just dig the plants into the soil in mid-August and you will have given the soil a good dose of nitrogen.

Obviously not all plants are available in autumn but it’s surprising how many varieties are in-stock year-round. So follow nature’s pattern and plant what you can now to get an accelerated start in spring.

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