With the summer officially over and the cooler temperatures of autumn setting in, it’s all too easy to hang up your gardening gloves in exchange for a good book or some cosy couch time. However, autumn is the perfect time to get your garden ready for next spring. With a bit of work, you can have your garden looking beautiful for the autumn and all set to survive the winter. Here are a few simple tips for a hardy autumn garden:
1. Clean up – First things first, to keep your garden healthy it is important to keep your garden clean during the cold wet months of autumn as leaves fall and summer plants die off. Regularly rake up any fallen leaves and take the time to pull up any plants you need to; this will stop your lawn and surviving plants from being smothered and protect your garden from rot and mildew in the wetter months.
2. Feed your garden – Now is a great opportunity to give your garden a good feed, hot summer months can dry out your lawn so it is a good idea to replenish it with a good autumn fertilizer, one which contains phosphates and potash is best, this will encourage strong roots. Just what your lawn needs to survive the winter.
3. Plant for the winter – Just because the winter is coming doesn’t mean your garden growing is over. This autumn, why not try growing some winter plants, fruit and veg? The autumn is a great time to plant shrubs and evergreens, the different colours can give you a stunning garden in the autumn/winter months. It is also the best time of year for broad beans to grow so autumn is the time to get planting. Why not experiment with other winter vegetables too this autumn?
4. Prepare for the spring – Spring may seem a long time away, but now is the time to prepare! Start by taking cuttings from your favourite plants and grow them indoors to get ready for planting next year. Autumn is also an ideal time to plant your spring bulbs. While your soil is moist and still warm plant bulbs such as Daffodils, Tulips and Hyacinths so they can be well rooted before the winter sets in. Don’t forget your compost heap either. The wetter months are ideal for getting compost ready to use in the spring. Use the leaves and plants you have cleared out of your garden to prepare your compost heap.
5. Remember the wildlife - The plants in your garden are not the only things to suffer during the cold months. Don’t forget about all the beautiful wildlife you enjoy watching in the summer season. During the autumn months be sure to put out plenty of food for birds and other wildlife to help them bulk up for the cold winter. Why not make your own fat balls to give the birds in your garden a helping hand?
Do you have any tips for a great autumn garden? Let us know in the comments section below or join the debate on Facebook.