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Autumn gardening tips

Summer officially ends this week on September 23, which means the temperature will be getting colder, plants will be going into hibernation and tree greenery will be drying up.

However, this does not mean that gardens have to be lifeless during the colder seasons, and there is a simple way to add a pop of colour to your garden this autumn. Many gardens believe wildflowers can only be planted in spring, but autumn is the perfect time to grow these beautiful flowers as the extra moisture during the rainy weather at this time of the year can be absorbed by the seeds and help growth. 

Wildflowers will encourage pollinators such as butterflies and bees in your garden which will help your garden be healthy and attractive as well as help the environment. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), almost 97 per cent of wildflower meadows have disappeared since the 1930s, which has greatly affected local wildlife. 

Michael Perry, a gardening expert, has said anyone wishing to sow wildflowers should consider planting them this autumn. He wrote: “If you want to plant wildflowers in your garden and are thinking that you’ve got until next spring to make a start – think again! 

“Wildflower mixes can actually benefit from an autumn sowing, so grab your wildflower mix from your local nursery or garden centre now.”

READ MORE: Dead hydrangeas can be brought back to life in autumn by following five steps

Benefits of planting autumn wildflowers

Michael, who is also known as Mr Plant Geek online, has said that autumn sowing is actually the best time for wildflowers according to a blog post on his website, as planting these vibrant flowers now will help growth in the springtime. 

He wrote: “It encourages earlier flowering in spring, because the winter frosts break the dormancy period of the newly sown seeds.” 

Michael also explained that birds are also less likely to eat wildflower seeds at the moment as “there are “abundant alternative food sources available to them in the autumn.” 

Wildflowers will also require less maintenance and care at the moment than they would in spring. Michael wrote: “The seeds require less manual watering due to higher rainfall during autumn and winter.” 

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How to plant autumn wildflowers 

Michael warned that the latest month wildflowers should be sown is October, and if planted later the wildflower seeds are a great risk of being damaged by frost. He said: “Sowing too late allows frost to damage the seed, meaning the loss of any chance of germination.” 

To plant wildflowers, select an area in your garden which has well-draining soil which allow allows for lots of sunlight. Michael said: “While seeds need moisture to germinate, soil that is allowed to become waterlogged during the winter may result in rotting.”

The soil where the wildflowers will grow must be prepared two weeks before they are planted. Make sure the area is thoroughly weeded and remove any grass or debris. 

Michael also explained that wildflowers usually require “nutrient-poor” soil to grow. Remove the top layer of soil in the area and also avoid using compost to decrease the area’s fertility. 

When the wildflowers are about to be sowed, take the soil to create an even flower bed and begin planting. After they are planted, wildflowers will require not much care as long as they have access to lots of moisture. Michael said: “Water just after sowing, then keep moist for the first six weeks. Water manually if there is very little rainfall.” 

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