• Goodness, its only early autumn, but those prepared hyacinth bulbs need to be potted shortly if you want a colourful and fragrant Christmas display. There are plenty of varieties to choose from, but ‘Sky Jacket’ (blue), ‘ City of Haarlem’ (yellow), ‘Jan Bos’ (red), ‘Pink Pearl’ (bright pink) and ‘White Pearl’ are pretty hard to beat. Grow individually in 9cm (3½ inch) pots by planting the bulb to half its depth in a pot filled with bulb fibre. Once potted, place in a dark garage or shed for about 10 weeks. Keep the pots moist (but avoid over watering). When the shoots are approx 5cm (2in) high, bring into lighter yet cool conditions for flowering. Individual pots can be used to create bowl displays as you can select plants at similar stages of growth. Avoid planting mixed colours in one bowl as the varieties mature at different rates.
• Collect seeds and beans to store for sowing next year. You may need to dry off the seeds in a tray on a bright windowsill. Make sure you carefully label each variety and record as much information as you can to help sowing them next spring easier. Autumn-
• Lawns are starting to green up, but they suffered in the dry weather, and feeding and overseeding is particularly important to make them grow well again next year. Evergreen Autumn 2 in 1 is the best fertiliser to use as it encourages and strengthens root growth and makes the grass more frost tolerant, but it does not encourage soft green growth. It also kills moss. Empathy Supreme Green Lawn Seed with Rootgrow is an excellent choice where overseeding or a new lawn is required as it includes the mycorrhizal fungi Rootgrow to give the new grass a good start.
• Fill gaps in your borders with a late show of colour from the likes of Coreopsis grandiflora, Japanese Anemones such as ‘Bressingham Glow’, Echinacea purpurea and Penstemons. Now is also a good time to make sowings of hardy annuals such as Calendula, Cerinthe major purpurescens (pictured), Eschscholtzia, Clarkia, Godetia and Nigella to grow slowly through the winter before flowering many weeks earlier than traditionally raised annuals in the spring.
• If you are planning to put some new fruit trees and bushes in this winter, don’t miss the golden opportunity to ask one or both of our fruit experts any questions you may have. Look out for our Apple Weekend in September where we’ll have top RHS fruit expert Gerry Edwards (pictured) and he’ll be joined by other apple, vegetable and bee experts, so come along and get all your questions answered. More details of the Apple and Honey weekend on our events pages here
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Buckingham Nurseries and Garden Centre,
Tingewick Road, Buckingham, MK18 4AE, UK.
Tel: 01280 822133 -