Planting in Different Seasons
Plants and flowers bring amazing colour and enjoyment to gardens of all sizes. But it is the seasons that dictate the type of plant beds that can be grown.
Since different flowers, plants, vegetables, fruits and herbs adapt to different environmental conditions, it is useful to know what types of flower beds grow best in the spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
While spring and summer are the best UK growing seasons, there are still plenty of things to plant year-round, as we discuss below.
Growing Plant Beds in Summer
Free from the risk of frost, summer is perfect for growing non-hardy flowers. Canterbury bells, Erigeron karvinskianus, sunflowers, Myosotis scorpioides (Forget-me-nots), pansies, wallflowers, and Potentilla fruticosa are popular options.
Vegetables suitable for summer growing include cabbage, broccoli, spinach, and beetroot, to name just a few.
The key maintenance task for summer is keeping enough moisture in the soil during periods of limited rainfall. The use of a garden hosepipe is recommended for watering, although a watering can is equally effective.
Also, be sure to undertake regular weeding. Just like flowers, weeds grow faster during the summer so keeping on top of them will ensure a neater, more attractive plant bed.
Growing Plant Beds in Autumn
Although days are shorter at this time of year, there are still plenty of flowers suitable for planting in beds. Winter pansies, Heuchera, Cyclamen persicum, and Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) allow for colourful displays.
Fruits and vegetables that are suitable for autumn planting include blueberries, raspberries, turnips, radishes, asparagus, broad beans, and spring onions.
Typical maintenance jobs for the autumn include protecting less hardy plants, ensuring a new spread of compost ready for the winter months, and raking leaves.
A cover crop can help to boost the nutrient levels in the soil and reduce the spread of weeds.
Growing Plant Beds in Winter
In the coldest months, it is still possible to bring colour into a garden. Loropetalum, Camellia, Clematis paniculata, Cornus, and Sarcococca are hardy winter flowering plants.
Fruits suitable for growing this time of year include winter berries, apples, pears, and cherries. Vegetables suitable for winter growing include leeks, cabbages, sprouts, rockets, and carrots.
There are still several garden maintenance tasks to undertake in winter. Begin to plan your crop for spring or start seeding indoors. Winter is also a great time to maintain garden tools by sharpening edges and removing soil.
Growing Plant Beds in Spring
With milder temperatures, spring is a great time to plant flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Snowdrops, tulips, daffodils, and primrose are excellent examples.
Fruits and vegetables for spring planting include blackberries, shallots, onions, peas, and broad beans.
There are many maintenance tasks for spring, such as setting up new plant beds, adding top-up soil, planting new seeds, and ensuring adequate irrigation.