5 ways to care for your garden this autumn
Gardening isn’t just for spring and summer. From mulching to planting, pruning to mowing, the colder months offer plenty of activities for keen gardeners.
The temperatures are dropping, and the nights are drawing in – autumn has most definitely arrived. But although summer may seem like a dim and distant memory, the arrival of autumn doesn’t mean that you have to stay indoors and abandon your garden. There are plenty of things to do around the garden during the colder months that will help to keep your green fingers busy.
Prepare beds and borders
Autumn is all about preparation, and it’s the perfect time of year to prepare your borders and flower beds for next year’s spring and summer season. To do this, you need to dig up any annuals, cut back plants, rake up leaves and debris, and mulch the soil. Once your beds are neat and tidy, cover with a thick layer of compost or wood chippings to help your plants grow stronger in the new year.
Plant spring blooms
If you’re hoping for spring to bring a riot of colour to your garden, now is the time to get planting. Spring flowering bulbs such as Narcissus, Alliums and Tulips should all be planted during the autumn months, as should Bluebells, Snowdrops and Crocuses. If you’re too impatient to wait for spring, planting evergreen shrubs or ferns and hardy winter species in terracotta pots can help to add some colour and foliage to your garden during the barren winter months.
Cut back bushes and hedges
Around this time of year, you may notice that your shrubs, bushes and perennials are looking past their best, turning yellow and starting to go to seed. If left, they could decay so grab your shears or hedge trimmers and cut them back to size. As a rough guide they should be cut to around a quarter of their original size, but it can vary so it’s worth doing your research first. Similarly, you should also prune your hedges to prevent damp and decay – try not to create any holes that will leave your hedge looking bare over the winter!
Give your lawn some TLC
Wet weather, low temperatures and lack of sunshine can all play havoc with your lawn. So take the time to give it a little TLC before the winter weather really takes hold. Fallen leaves can block the light, causing dry, brown patches and encouraging moss growth; but you can avoid this by regularly clearing your lawn of leaves and other debris. This is also the time of year to go over your lawn with the mower one last time before the winter. It’s also a good idea to treat your lawn with an autumn fertiliser which is high in potassium and low in nitrogen. This will help to strengthen the grass and protect it against frost, ensuring that your lawn looks picture perfect when spring finally arrives.
Take care of your bugs
Beneficial insects are an important part of your garden’s eco system, so it makes sense to take care of them. Predatory insects and pollinators in particular need somewhere to hide out and escape the lower temperatures over the winter, so create ‘bug hotels’ by filling boxes with twigs, barn and dried hollow plant stems. Your garden will thank you for it come the spring.
As you can see, there is plenty of work to keep you busy in the garden this autumn. And by putting in the hard work now you will soon find yourself enjoying the fruits of your labour with a beautiful spring garden.