Your garden needs to be prepared for each season in order to help it to grow sufficiently and to prevent extra work all at once. We may still just be teetering on the edge of summer right now but Autumn is definitely in the air and this is the perfect time to get some garden jobs underway. Here are my 16 tips for getting your garden ready for Autumn:
Tip number 1 is to simply give your grass a good cut. After the summer we have just had, the grass will be dire need of some TLC and getting the lawnmower on it before the cold weather hits will help to maintain a lovely lawn. You should also take this time to assess any issues you may have (bald areas, weeds) and deal with those straight away. Give your lawn a good watering, add seed where required and remove those weeds asap. It may be worth investing in an Autumn lawn care which will help to strengthen and protect the grass through the winter.
By now many flowers will have seen better days so if you have seasonals, these could now be removed, if you have perennials, deadhead those flowers that have died and give everything a good general tidy up.
Don’t Ignore The Lavender!
Lavender is a gorgeous plant and will return year after year and give you the most wonderful scented flowers BUT if left to its own devices it can easily get out of control. Lavender should be cut well back twice a year in order to prevent overgrowth of the roots and a messy look. If you want a nice trim lavender bush come Spring, give your plants a good cut. Don’t worry too much about how it looks straight after–it will definitely not look at its best– but this will encourage it to focus on giving you beautiful flowers again rather than on growing its roots.
September is a great time for planting your Springtime bulbs.
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Don’t leave overgrown hedges, bushes, trees to continue to get out of control, give them all a good pruning and cut back to ensure that they provide you with a wonderful growth and look come the springtime.
Clear The Debris
Remove any leaves, twigs, foliage, petals etc from your flower beds to prevent them from rotting over the cold and wet months. This is really important in order to help the plants that are still here. Debris can lead to waterlogged areas, it prevents sunlight from penetrating through and can lead to disease.
The weeds love a summer that is warm and wet and that is exactly what we have seen of late. If the weeds are rife in your garden they should be dealt with now. Ensure that you dig them up where possible in order to bring up the roots and to prevent them from returning. If you can’t quite manage that, try my natural homemade weedkiller which is safe to be used around children and animals and works wonders!
Turn The Soil
Now that your flower beds are nice and clear of debris and weeds, turn the soil to give it a fresher look and to also help with drainage in the next few months.
Tend To Your Pots
Take a look at what is in your pots and decide what action needs to be taken. For instance, if you had seasonals in some, remove the dead flowers and either repot with a perennial or move your pot into storage for the winter. If you have delicate plants that do not do well in the colder weather, now may be the time to think about moving them indoors or into a greenhouse. For perennials, give the pots a bit of a clean up inside and out (I always like to wipe a pot over to keep them looking nice in Autumn/Winter) and keep tending to them throughout.
Powerwash The Patio
We usually think of using a powerwash on a patio once the Spring arrives, to clean up the green and grime that has built up over the winter, but to help with this, it can be beneficial to give it a good once over in the Autumn too. If you have children, you may well have the remnants of chalk drawings, play sand, mud, suncream marks and so on. A good wash should take all of this off and give you a nice clean surface. There will always be a build up on it come the warmer seasons but by doing this now you should be making lighter work for yourself in the future.
Put The Garden Toys Away
Time to wash the toys down, decide which can go away into storage and get some of your garden back! Oh, how I love putting some of that stuff back inside the garage!
Check Fences For Damage
This is so important if you want to prevent extra hassle and costs in those blustery months. Deal with any problems now, fix the weak points, even give it a good coat of weatherproof paint in order to protect it.
Some of your plants may well be a little dehydrated after the dry spells so make sure you continue to give them a good watering during the Autumn. We recently purchased this magic hose and it has revolutionised the way in which I water the garden now!
Check Your Compost
If you have a compost system now is a good time to check on how it is getting on. Creating good compost is a bit of a work of art and you will need to check that it isn’t too dry, it isn’t too wet, it isn’t jampacked in and can breathe. Take some time to turn it if you can, check your layering and use any compost that you have successfully made. For more tips on composting check out my article here.
Get A Water Butt
With the wetter weather on the way, now is a great time to invest in a water butt. Collecting water over the Winter that you can then use next year is a fantastic way of saving tap water and being more eco-friendly.
The change in weather can bring new challenges for our wildlife so Autumn is a good time to think about how you can help them out. Look into bird feeders and the right type of food for the birds who are visiting your garden. Perhaps a build a bug house for the smaller inhabitants to shelter inside and you could also purchase or make a hedgehog house to provide them with a safe place to sleep. On top of this, there may still be a few bees buzzing about so if you still have flowers in bloom, leave them there for the bees to continue to enjoy or think about adding some more perennials which may have flowers for a bit longer. And don’t forget to give your pond a good clear out, check your oxygenating plants and remove any debris, dead plants and so on.
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