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Talkback: The last dance - grasses in autumn

Could anyone tell me when the best time to plant grasses is? I would like to make a new border with grasses and perennials. Also when should I prepare the soil -now before winter sets in or wait until spring. My soil is wet clay and the area is partially shaded so can anyone recommend and sedges or rushes I could plant?


  • Grasses are looking great right now and I've just planted a few more which I got at the Harrogate show last month.Our garden is very heavy clay with very poor drainage and where other plants have give up grasses have flourished I've not found any thats give up.They're so easy to grow from seed to, whilst on holiday I saw lots of grasses and took a few seeds from each, I now have young grasses that were growing with in 2-3 weeks of planting.With all year round interest they are with out a doubt the easiest plants to grow and you can always find room for one more because they come in such a wide variety of colour and size.
  • Don't blame you Blodwyn for wanting to beautify your septic tank. If it's a modern bottle-shaped one (klargester or similar) I can't see you'll have a problem - don't think you'll need the plastic. (Don't cover up the inspection covers though as access will be needed every couple of years for emptying.) If it's the ancient concrete sort though, which are often raised 6" above the surrounding land, you'll have to disguise it by planting around it.
  • My friend recently had a big pile of mulch left by the tree surgeons. Can this be spread over borders straight away, can it do any harm or good. Many thanks for any comments.
  • Could anyone tell me if you can bring in impatiens for the winter and keep them looking good until time to plant next spring?
  • Elizabeth, best to let it compost down for a year or so as applying new woodchip can leach nutrients from the soil.

    Sandy, you can but easier to just grow some new, younger, stronger stock from seed or cuttings.

  • Have a verbena hastata pink spires which has finished flowering has reached full height already, should I prune it?
  • Could anyone tell me please if it is safe to plant on top of a septic tank? I was thinking of laying plastic down, lightly perforating it and then planting rheums, astilbes, meadowsweet, purple loosestrife and other moisture lovers. The ground slopes away downwards for the soakaway.
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