With some two-thirds (65%) of people not knowing that autumn is an important gardening season, the RHS has launched ‘Grow at Home this autumn’ to encourage and help people to plant now to save water and money.
Almost seven in 10 people (68%) think spring is the most important gardening season, compared to just 8% who think autumn is. Some 65% of people, when asked if they thought autumn was an important gardening season, either disagreed or said they didn’t know.
The RHS commissioned YouGov to conduct the research, which surveyed some 2116 adults across the UK, as the gardening charity hopes to help millions of gardeners to ‘Grow at Home this autumn’.
Whilst spring is an important gardening season, the RHS is raising the benefits, many environmental and financial, of gardening over autumn as well. The soil is moist and warm, but not yet soggy, and so easy to plant and gives plants more time to grow new roots and be less vulnerable to dry periods in summer. Evergreens particularly establish well in autumn without the difficult fluctuations of spring weather and, when planted in spring, they usually need significant watering.
Trees are better planted in autumn or winter. Autumn is especially best for planting trees in clay soils, which can be ‘gooey’ in the winter and dry to ‘concrete’ in spring. Just 22% of UK adults think trees should be planted in autumn and only 8% in winter, with one in three saying they don’t know when to plant trees (32%) and 30% saying to plant in spring and 4% in summer.
The RHS’ Grow at home this autumn began on 14 September with a ‘bulb’ themed week, which should help over half of UK adults (61%) who don’t know you should plant tulip and daffodil bulbs in autumn.
Sue Biggs, RHS director general, said: “Helping people to garden is core to the RHS’ being, especially for the environment and their health, happiness and wellbeing. With the recent growth in gardening, many don’t know that autumn is arguably the most important gardening season, which is something we’re committed to changing by promoting and sharing the benefits of gardening now.
“Water is a critical issue and planting evergreens, trees and many perennials over autumn usually means that we can water a lot less, with cooler climates and higher levels of rain. We are seeing more dry and hot spring and summer months, when people can use a lot of water to keep newly planted plants alive.”
The RHS’ Grow at Home this autumn will have seven themed action packed weeks, with dozens of advice videos, some question and answer sessions and will be accessible to all via RHS social media and its website.