The September results bring the year to date figure to eight per cent behind the first nine months of last year, an improvement on the 10 per cent deficit reported last month.
HTA marketing head Andrew Maxted said: "It is very encouraging to see two successive months of growth being reported by members. While it remains early days, there are increasing signs that the squeeze on consumer spending may be beginning to ease and this, coupled with a rediscovery of the benefits of autumn gardening, are reflected in members’ sales.
He added: "Reports of members giving a renewed emphasis to bulbs, shrubs, lawn and other garden care products, many making great use of the HTA’s Plan it, Plant it this Autumn campaign materials and in a number of cases choosing to delay bringing in Christmas displays, appear to have caught the consumer mood this autumn.
"Clearly UK consumers have not lost the gardening habit and this augurs well for the industry for next year."