ASTER LA VISTA BABY

Plant now for a stun­ning look

The Galloway News - - GARDENING -

Sum­mer is draw­ing to a close and au­tumn is just around the cor­ner.

What a per­fect time to think about plant­ing – the soil is warm and the au­tumn rains will get plants es­tab­lished be­fore the winter sets in.

It’s also a good time to take stock of your gar­den and think about any changes or plans you want to make.

Keep­ing colour in borders for as long as pos­si­ble is top of the “to do” list for September, so you may like to con­sider in­cor­po­rat­ing late sum­mer or au­tumn flow­er­ing plants such the aster.r.

The name aster comes fromm the an­cient Greek word for r star, al­though they are of­ten n re­ferred to as Michael­mass daisies be­cause of their typ­i­cal al flow­er­ing pe­riod in the au­tumn. n.

Asters come in blue, pur­ple,e, red, pink and white each with a yel­low cen­tre.

There are numer­ous va­ri­etiess of aster, from dwarfs thatt mea­sure less than a foot to tall l ver­sions that can reach up too eight feet.

All va­ri­eties make for good cut flow­ers and are easy plants for begin­ners to try in the e gar­den. They thrive well in n drained, fer­tile soil that re­tainss mois­ture and pre­fer full sun orr par­tial shade.

It’s also the time of year that nurs­eries and gar­den cen­tres have great of­fers on big bags of mixed daffodil bulbs, in all shapes and sizes.

They can grow pretty much any­where, even through the lawn. The eas­i­est way to work out how deep to plant your bulb is to dig down ap­prox­i­mately three times the depth of the bulb – but be warned, if you plant daf­fodils too close to the sur­face they of­ten won’t flower.

You can plant daf­fodils and cro­cuses from September to Oc­to­ber – as many

as you can get into the ground or in con­tain­ers. Once planted you need do noth­ing else to them other than wait for a stun­ning show in the spring.

If you’re plant­ing in lawns, cut out three sides of a square and lift back the turf, put in a few bulbs and then firm the turf back again.

As it’s bulb sea­son, you could also plant hy­acinth bulbs in pots by midSeptem­ber, so that you have a glo­ri­ous Christ­mas dis­play.

Once the hy­acinths are planted in a pot, put in a dark cool place (a garage or shed) for 10-12 weeks and then bring out into the li light so flow­er­ing can start.

September is when au au­tumn be­gins to creep into yo your gar­den but that doesn’t m mean it’s time to let it all go to seed – keep busy with the fo fol­low­ing jobs:

Look after your lawn – w weed it and seed it

Pick and har­vest su sum­mer fruits

Bring ten­der ho house­plants in­side

Con­tinue to sow ve vegeta­bles

Clear gr green­house

Col­lect and sow seeds gath­eredga from plants in the gar­denga

Plant spring flow­er­ing bulb­sbu out the

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