The Royal Horticultural Society and the Horticultural Trades Association are both promoting autumn planting and we wholeheartedly agree. The trouble is that we’re not really in the mood to plant a hedge in autumn when there are fine days but they are few and far between and most people leave it until spring when the warmth of the sun can be felt on your back and you don’t need thermal underwear and three layers of socks!
But actually, virtually all the plants we sell (exceptions below) have better establishment if they are planted in autumn and indeed before the 1960’s all plants were sold as bare root or root ball for autumn/winter/early spring planting.
The reasons are
- The soil retains some warmth (I know that’s surprising but honestly it does) whereas if you are planting in spring, you are planting into cold soil.
- Those plants that are dormant (deciduous species) especially benefit from autumn planting because although they have no leaves, their roots are very much still active and it gives them a chance to get their roots down properly before they have the spring burst of growth.
- The autumn and winter normally takes care of watering whereas spring and summer planting requires the gardener to do this regularly and thoroughly – and we know that doesn’t always happen.
- They’ll be more self sufficient when drier weather comes along
I mentioned that there were exceptions to the autumn planting recommendation. In exposed windy sites, evergreen hedging is better planted in early spring although it’s absolutely fine to plant evergreen hedging all year round in 98% of the UK. All the hedging we sell is hardy but some is hardier than others! If you are in the north of Scotland or in a very cold, windy site, please take advice from us if you are buying hedging in autumn/winter.
Go to www.hedgesdirect.co.uk