HTA promotes autumn push to make up sales

HTA planting campaign aims to extend the season as nurseries hope to make up for spring losses.

Growers are looking ahead to autumn after a poor first half of the year as the HTA launches a campaign to encourage autumn gardening.

Nurseries are hoping for a successful autumn to make up for their spring losses.

To encourage consumers to continue gardening over the autumn, when demand for plants is generally lower, the HTA has launched its "Plan it, Plant it this Autumn" campaign.

Farplants sales manager Tim Jacob said: "You can't learn a lot from a year like this. We are drawing a line under it and looking ahead to autumn, which could be better than normal for nursery stock sales. September could be a bumper month."

Bridge Nursery partner Pete Lodge agreed that autumn has potential. "There is less demand, but it has always been the best time to plant perennials," he said. "People have been more inclined to have a go in the autumn recently."

Some growers are more cautious about the autumn. New Place Nurseries sales director Steven Lee said: "Autumn depends on how the season has gone but it is difficult to predict. We're just going to carry on and see where we get to. Maybe by Four Oaks things will be looking better."

Quality Ornamentals general manager Paul Brooking added: "It would be foolish to be bullish. I'm expecting autumn to be as normal - there's no reason why not."

The HTA campaign aims to extend the season and tap into growing interest among younger gardeners. It will create awareness that the garden is not dormant during the winter and will encompass a range of activities including lawn care, planting, autumn bedding, trees, fruits and wild bird care.

Planting season

Research commissioned by the HTA has revealed that 41 per cent of gardeners believe that fruit trees and berries should be planted in spring. Some 45 per cent believe that spring bulbs should also be planted at this time, when in fact autumn is the key time to do both.

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