Trio of campaigns to keep new gardeners growing and help the environment, September 19-27
Gardening’s not just for summer – it’s for every season and for life. This message is being promoted by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), which is encouraging the nation to get planting this autumn.
The HTA wants to highlight the huge contribution plants make to our health and wellbeing, to the environment and to communities and has not one, but three, campaigns on the go.
Here’s one I did earlier… bulbs in pots
To show you how it’s done, the HTA has kindly given me some Allium Rosy Dream bulbs from Taylors Bulbs, which are ideal for planting now.
As my soil’s heavy clay, I’m planting mine in a self-watering Veggie Wall trough from ehlo as it’s very versatile (more on that here) and the purple globular heads will look pretty spectacular against the black wall (thanks to Gary for lifting it onto the table for me to work at).
You don’t need a garden to grow these ornamental onions – or any bulbs – in fact, I prefer to plant them in containers to ring the changes every season.
These rosy-purple globe-shaped flowers are held on 40cm stems, not too tall like some alliums, so they’re perfect for pots. Plant them all together for more impact.
On a large container filled with compost, space out your bulbs 10cm apart. Make a hole with a handy stick – they need to be planted 20cm deep, so choose a deep pot.
Pop them in, cover with soil, label and that’s a job done – you’ll be thankful you did when they flower next May and June.
It’s the same basic method with any bulb or corm – just follow the depth instructions on the packet!
Million Planting Moments, September 19-27
Million Planting Moments hopes to inspire people of all ages and abilities to get planting and enjoy gardening.
This campaign is running alongside UK Plant Health Week (see below) and is part of the HTA’s wider Keep Britain Growing campaign, which provides monthly gardening inspiration.
As autumn draws near, it’s easy to forget about the garden but there’s so much more you can do and get even more enjoyment out of your plot on cooler days (I know I do).
Many people started gardening during lockdown and with COVID-19 cases on the rise again and local restrictions in place across many areas of the country, it’s essential these new gardeners carry on for the sake of their mental health and physical wellbeing.
The week culminates in Million Planting Moments Day on Sunday, September 27.
The campaign builds on the momentum around tree planting in the UK, recognising that all plants make a positive contribution to mitigating the impact of climate change.
Suggestions on the best types of plant to choose depend on factors such as soil, site and size of space are available, with consumers encouraged to visit their local garden centre for expert knowledge and advice, depending on their specific needs.
Fascinating gardening facts…
- One medium shrub can capture 30 diesel cars’ worth of pollution every year.
- The cooling effect of green space in urban areas can reduce average temperatures in the UK’s major cities by 0.63⁰C to 0.88⁰C.
- Over three years, one mature oak produces enough oxygen to keep you alive for a year.
- Every 10 per cent increase in exposure to green spaces translates into an improvement in health equivalent to being 5 years younger.
- Scents have a significant positive effect on emotions and memory recall.
- Digging burns an average of 186 calories per 30 minutes.
UK Plant Health Week, September 21-27
As part of the International Year of Plant Health, Defra is hosting the UK’s first Plant Health Week, in collaboration with horticultural and forestry businesses and organisations.
The week will run from 21– 27 September and will raise awareness of plant health threats and the actions people can take to keep our plants healthy.
Each day will have a theme – look out on social media for #PlantHealthWeek and #IYPH.
September 21: Why plant health matters, pest and disease threats and how the government and the industry are responding. A children’s plant health activity book, Izzy the Inspector, is being launched.
September 22: Looking after your plants indoors and outdoors with tips from the RHS.
September 23: Buying responsibly from reputable nurseries and suppliers and check the plant’s origin. Defra and the HTA will highlight the Million Planting Moments campaign. Defra will also be relaunching our ‘Be Plant Wise’ campaign to prevent the spread of invasive plant species.
September 24: Don’t Risk It – don’t bring back plants and cuttings from holidays and trips abroad.
September 25: Clean Your Boots – the Forestry Commission reminds people to clean their boots before and after going out in woodlands and parks to help limit the spread of plant diseases.
September 26: Look Out – led by the Tree Council to spot for unusual symptoms on trees and plants. Report them to the Forestry Commission’s Tree Alert website or the Animal and Plant Health Agency.