Now is a good time to move those evergreens

Now is a good time to move those evergreens
Green Fingers


As our climate get milder, our season of autumn starts later in the year. It’s late September or October before the colour palette starts to change to the rich reds, golden yellows and deep oranges of autumn.

September is an ideal time to plant evergreen shrubs and conifers, or to move established ones if you must. Make sure newly planted evergreens are protected from cold, drying winds. If exposed to these winds, the foliage will dry out and turn brown, and the plant may die.

If you are moving an established evergreen to a new planting position the process starts in April, the start of the evergreen growing season. Using a spade, cut a circle slightly larger than the extent of the foliage around the plant and to the depth of the spade; you don’t remove any soil, as this is just to get the plant to grow new feeder roots to help it survive the move.

Before you start to dig tie a piece of coloured material to a branch and take note of which direction it faces, e.g. south. When you replant, have this branch facing south as evergreens object to being reorientated once growth is underway.

Dig out as big a rootball as possible and replant straight away. Stake it well and water it in. Keep it watered for the next year and regularly check its ties.

Continue deadheading to prolong flowering season; summer bedding will continue to flower until first frost, roses until well after. Dahlias are looking their best and to keep them like that and right up until the first really hard frost keep deadheading.

If earwigs are eating the petals of your dahlias, stuff small flower pots with straw or balls of newspaper and put the pots upside down on top of canes pushed into the ground between the flowers. The earwigs will crawl into the pots to hide during the day.

Each morning, check the pots and remove the earwigs to another part of  the garden where they won’t be a problem; they are a valuable part of the garden ecosystem eating large amounts of greenfly over the growing season.

Buy all plant spring bulbs now except for tulips and hyacinths – leave these to October and November. When buying bulbs, choose plump firm ones with no visible signs of damage. If there are small green shoots showing off the top of the bulb it’s still okay, but if there are long spindly shoots leave them where they are.

It’s important to plant bulbs at the proper depth. If they’re not planted deep enough they may flower or not at all in successive years. The general rule of thumb is bury them three times their own depth.