Thursday, 12 September 2013
Top Tips for Looking After Your Garden in Autumn
As the nights get longer and the ice cream days get shorter, it’s time to think about preparing your garden for autumn and ensuring that your plants are healthy for the following spring.
So what should be on your gardening to-do list in the coming weeks? Here are a few tasks to keep your outdoor space looking lovely and green right until the first snowflake falls…
Prepare for hibernation
Like your garden’s critters, your plants, flowers and lawn goes into hibernation over the colder months of the year. And just like squirrels store food to survive the cold snap, your garden should be fed too. Give your lawn the best chance of bouncing back in spring by clearing away weeds and moss, before giving it a final feed for added nutrition.
Clean and weed
Greenery aside, your gardens paths, patios and decking need looking after too. Weed your paths just before the temperature drops, then spray the offending areas with a weed killer, such as the range from Bents, to prevent them cropping up again next year. They have a number of disease-fighters and treatments for specific fruit trees and vegetable patches too.
Re-pot your plants…
If you plan to breed your plants, autumn is the best time. Take cuttings from September onwards and you can easily duplicate your plants in a matter of months! Take a cutting that is around 10cm tall and make sure to remove any lower leaves in the process. Then, plant your cutting in a small pot of high quality, nutrient-rich soil and wait for spring to roll around.
…And replenish their nutrients
As previously mentioned, keeping your plants healthy through their ‘hibernation period’ is key. An easy way to do this is by layering mulch (organic matter comprising of aged wood chips, pine needles, fresh grass clippings, tree bark or any other organic substances) in and around your flower beds and plant pots. As well as keeping in the vital nutrients, mulch acts as an extra layer between the cold temperatures and your precious soil. This helps them to remain fertile throughout the darker, colder months and ensure your garden looks great throughout the year.
Preparation for winter
Now that you’re all prepped for autumn, it pays to remember that winter is just around the corner. While you can still feel your fingers, for example during September and October, get to work clearing your beds and de-heading any flowers so that the plants can store their nutrients for the winter. Remove all dead leaves and excess foliage from your lawn and get your plants ready for the colder and wetter weather. If you can, turn your garden waste into compost by following this BBC guide.