It’s often the case that summer crops are still going strong at the time when autumn plugs are ready to be planted, and space is at a premium. We’ve got two main pointers for you to help squeeze your autumn plants in.
The first is to interplant your crops. At it’s most simple, this means planting rows of seedlings between other rows, but it can help in two ways:
- You can plant new autumn plants in between rows of established summer crops. For example, plant a row of wild rocket in between a row of summer carrots and beetroots. You’ll be pulling the roots up in the next few weeks, and when you do, it’ll make space for the rocket to mature.
- You can plant rows of autumn plants in amongst each other. If you’re planting, say, spring greens leaving 30cm between rows, you can happily plant a row of lettuce in between them.
The second is to pot on your plugs, or temporarily plant them in a growbag until some more space opens up in your plot. If you decide to pot on, an 8cm pot will be ideal, and will keep the plants growing for another few weeks so that you can plant out in early October. If you decide to plant in a grow bag (a normal bag of compost will be fine too), you can either cut holes in the plastic and pop the plants in individually, and then use a trowel to lift them in a few weeks to transplant to beds, or you can open up the top of the bag and bury the rootballs loosely in the compost if you are likely to be able to plant in a week or so.
If you are growing in the ground or in raised beds, then our recommendation would be to interplant if you can, as then the roots will not be disturbed more than necessary and this will aid their growth and enable them to make the most of the warmth that is in the soil at the moment.
If you are growing in pots and you’re waiting to empty a few pots and planters before replanting, then we’d suggest potting on your plugs for now if you have access to a few small pots.