It’s hard to believe we are entering the autumn season. The weather is still warm, and although the nights are starting to draw in, there is no hint of the colder weather to come. But for the savvy gardener, the beginning of autumn is the time for getting things in order. As everyone knows, the cold, frost, and wetness of winter can cause havoc with our gardens. However, with some simple planning, you should have everything in order with time to spare. Here are a few ideas you can use to get started.
Attend to your lawn
Autumn gives you the opportunity to patch up any problem areas for your lawn. Start by getting rid of any old thatch that might have built up over summer. Moss might also be a problem. A spring rake is a perfect tool for removing moss, which an excellent addition to your compost heap. It’s also worth looking at the high traffic areas of your garden that have been in use all over the summer. The weight of people stepping on your lawn can cause the soil to compact. Your best bet is to take a garden fork and shift things around a little. Don’t forget, if the sun has been harsh to your turf and it’s looking a little patchy, autumn is a very good time for laying new turf. It still has plenty of time to settle in before winter.
Make use of your compost
If you have a compost bin, autumn is the perfect time to start using it. It will give your more fragile plants a final boost of nutrition. Every compost bin needs emptying at some point, but make sure it has all decomposed properly before spreading it. You can speed things up a little by turning it. In an ideal world, you will use up all your compost so you can make checks on your bin’s integrity. If there are any small holes, you might find a few rodent surprises by the time next year’s spring arrives.
Sort out your greenhouse
The autumn is the perfect time to spring clean your greenhouse. Make sure you give it a good clean to remove any traces of pests or diseases that might thrive during the colder months. You can also make a start on cleaning out your pots and seed trays. If you are a keen gardener, there is a good chance you will have hundreds of these around the place! Getting started now will reduce your workload over winter. As soon as the nights start to draw in, your greenhouse needs a lot more light to be effective. Make sure you start to take down your greenhouse shades to maximise the amount of light it gets. It’s a good time to replace any cracked or broken glass, too. If you don’t have a greenhouse, I would suggest getting one. There are plenty of great buying guides out there, so take a look around and find something that fits your needs. They are perfect for keeping your plants going over the cold months.
Check your shed
The garden shed suffers during winter just as much as your plants. Given it is the place where you will be storing all your garden equipment, it is vital it is in good shape. Any leaks or holes need to be fixed, and it’s also a good time to check floorboards. Any damp creeping up from the ground needs to be taken care of, or the winter will make things even worse. If you don’t have a garden shed, think about making an investment. Now is the time to buy one and install it - you don’t want to wait until it gets too wet. You might want to consider a garden pod for winter. Most come with heating these days so they are a great way of enjoying your garden throughout the winter months.
Treat your tenders
There are a lot of plants and flowers in your garden that might not make it through winter. Dahlias, Begonias and Gladioli all need to be tended to before the first heavy frost takes effect. You can lift them and store them somewhere cool and light - the greenhouse might be perfect as long as it never frosts. You might also be able to cut back some tender species and cover them with mulch until spring comes around again.
Get your evergreens down
Autumn is the perfect time to get in a new bunch of evergreens to ensure your garden looks welcoming over winter. There will be a lot of gaps appearing in your beds over the coming months, so evergreens are the perfect solution.
Hope this has helped - and feel free to leave any of your tips in the comments section!