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September 2016 Newsletter
It’s that time of year again and, if you’re anything like us, you’ll already be planning ahead and starting to plant (if the weather cools down) some of your spring bulbs for next year. Easy to care for, spring bulbs will give you a flurry of colour from as early as January right the way through to early summer.
Our particular favourite is the NEW Tulip Blue Wow – as the name suggests, it really does have the WOW factor in the garden and presents large peony-like blooms to add true flower power to your beds and borders or containers.
Autumn and winter bedding can also be added on the list to plan ahead for and will give you fantastic colour in those dreary winter months. We have recently introduced the Primrose Bonneli Flaming Winter – a beautiful mix of Bonneli Flame and Yellow Orange Eye that will often bloom outdoor before Christmas.
September is usually a good month on the weather front and, with the recent heat we’ve been having, make sure that you’re plants are kept well hydrated by watering them in either early on in the morning or in the evening (both if necessary!). Our irrigation range will help keep your plants hydrated in the toughest of conditions.
For inspiration and ideas on what to plant and when, check out our new Autumn 2016 catalogue which has just launched – order your FREE catalogue by clicking here.
The Unwins Team
Jobs to do in September...
One of the key things to plant in early Autumn is your spring-flowering bulbs, that may create a decorative display from as early as late-winter. Plan ahead as to what you would like to plant and where, as bulbs are so versatile that they look virtually great anywhere. Even if you’re short on space, our planters and containers offer the perfect solution and can be placed on a patio or balcony.
As the name suggests, spring-flowering bulbs are the perfect plants to provide your garden with colour early on in the year through to early-Summer.
Some bulbs particularly lend themselves to certain areas of the garden, such as dry and shady spots, but wherever you plant them, they will certainly add a splash of colour throughout the season. For more impact, plant smaller bulbs, like snowdrops, really close together, while your bigger bulbs, such as Alliums, plant further apart so that they develop stronger and produce good-sized blooms.
We just love Autumn Bedding as it provides the garden with interest all year round but it doesn’t come without some planning first! However it is really worth it to get a dazzling autumn to spring display as you’ll likely to see an explosion of colour right through to next Summer.
If we’re lucky and the weather stays mild, they will often flower before Christmas, adding cheer to the dreary winter months. However, as we move into Spring, they really flourish and start to show more flowers for a brilliant display.
If you decide to plant straight outside, then ensure that your Autumn Bedding is protected as the plugs can be vulnerable in an exposed location. We would prepare the soil first – thoroughly fork the soil and add some compost and fertiliser to ensure that the plants can establish their roots more easily.
Once you have prepared the soil, make an individual hole for each plug that can accommodate the entire root ball. Water each of the holes and allow the water to soak away.
Push the plants out through the base of the try by using either a dibber or pencil as this will help avoid damaging the plant and place the rootball in the hole, backfill the soil and gently firm the area. Repeat where necessary.
If the weather is still on the warm side, then water well at first, paying particular attention to containers and baskets. Once the weather cools off and winter approaches, watering the plants isn’t as necessary as you don’t want to waterlog the soil.
Hardy annuals are particularly rewarding to plant as you know that you’ll get loads of flower and interest for great value.
At this time of year in particular, it is best to sow hardy annuals such as nigella, cornflowers and corn poppies, as they’ll germinate and grow into young plants this autumn, withstand the winter and become extra-strong in time to produce an abundance of flowers!
We’ve included a load of information on the seed packet to get you started including when to sow, how to care and harvesting information. Take a look before you plant so that you are in the know on how to get the best results.
Here are some of the basics for successful sowing outdoors;
- Use a rake to level the surface and create a crumble-like tilth. At this point remove any weeds or large stones etc.
- Water the surface prior to sowing. This is better than watering over the top of seeds once they are sown as the force of the water can displace the seeds unevenly.
- Thinly scatter the seed over the soil. Pour the seed into the palm then tap lightly with the other hand to distribute the seed evenly over the area of soil. If they are big seeds you can place them individually on the soil.
- Use a rake to gently cover the seeds with soil.
- Before you forget where the row is and what you’ve sown, place a label in the soil at one end.
- Remember to water in dry spells
If you want your plants to germinate quickly you can put down a horticultural fleece over the soil – this helps retain the heat in the soil, and doubles up as protection from hungry seed-eating birds. This also prevents any frost damage from some of the cold winters we are susceptible to.
We were inspired by Monty Don on Gardeners’ World the other week, when he took a trip into the garden and showed us how easy it can be to fill an empty vase with beautiful cut flowers from the garden.
The inside of your home can benefit just as much as the outside, so decorate your living rooms, conservatories and hallways with cut flowers that give you the most intense colours and fragrances. Spruce up your vases with varieties such as echinaceas, rudbeckias, heleniums, echinops, and buddlejas, and add complementary textures such as grasses, palms and ferns.
The best time to cut is early in the morning, so grab your snips and get outdoors for your early wake up call. Cut the stem as close to the ground as possible and keep a bucket of water handy to place the flowers in once they’ve been cut.
To prepare the flowers in the vase, fill your vase with a suitable amount of water and then cut the flower stem approx. 2in from the bottom and at a diagonal angle. Arrange in a vase and place in the house wherever you think needs a splash of colour!
Lawns have different needs and requirements throughout each season, however Autumn poses of particular importance to renovate, feed and prepare for Spring/Summer next year.
If you take care of your lawn now then you will be sure to reap the benefits of this later on as it will result in better shape throughout the winter and into spring.
To care for your lawn throughout the Autumn, we would suggest that you almost certainly give it a good fertiliser to help strengthen and nourish the grass. Even if you only feed the lawn once a year, the best time to do so is in the Autumn, once the temperature has cooled off.
In terms of feeding the grass, you should always look out for an Autumn fertiliser that has slow-realse nitrogen, along with phosphorus and potassium. Feeding the grass will give you much healthier results – visibly greener, thicker and hard-wearing. If you’re short on time and want your grass to shape up quickly, then use Aftercut 3 day Green to help you achieve quick results.
If your lawn needs some TLC, it’s always worth putting down some lawn seed to help it grow back thicker and stronger. A combined feed and seed is always a good option, as they will be great for filling sparse areas of lawn whilst also conditioning existing growth.
If you have children and pets then it is always worthwhile in checking the packagining before applying to ensure that the grass is still safe to play on once applied.
Vine Weevil are a particularly common pest in the garden and can devastate expensive container plants. The larvae tend to be the real problem and they will be attacking your plant root systems from now until the following spring. The larvae over-winter and attach then roots to then emerge as adults in late spring/summer. The adults will then lay eggs in rootballs of plants – which then hatch and feed before repeating the process.
When the weather starts to cool, it will be an ideal time to apply Nemasys Vine Weevil Control as the product will start to control the larvae so you maintain healthy plants free from damage.
Our NEW Unwins Autumn catalogue has just launched so take a well-earned break, sit back and relax whilst browsing the catalogue and planning the garden for the season ahead.
Exciting highlights of the catalogue include:
- FREE Crocus Mix worth £7.95 when you spend £10 or more
- New and enticing spring-bulb varieties
- ‘How-to’ pointers and tips on the perfect garden accessories
- Colourful container collections and the best of seasonal bedding
- Garden inspiration collections
Create the look
Our garden range will inspire you to have the best planting season yet however, of particular note, are the ‘create the look’ features which will motivate (hopefully!) you to establish containers, beds or borders that will be the envy of all your friends!
Great for an impressive display in your basket or container, the Autumn hanging basket collection features an array of hardy flowers and grasses that will see you through the New Year and beyond. It is also perfect when combined with low growing bulbs or autumn planting bedding.
Autumn marks a busy-ish period in the show diary, with the likes of RHS Wisley Garden Flower Show (6-11 September), Harrogate Autumn Flower Show (16-18 September) and Malvern Autumn Show (24-25 September).
If you fancy a day out and want more inspiration, then head out to one of these shows where there will be an abundance of beautiful blooms and great gardening advice from the experts.