Spring and summer may be the busiest times of the year for gardeners, but just because autumn is on the horizon doesn’t mean to say your garden should stand still. There are ample jobs that need doing at this time of year, to ensure gardens remain protected and in tip-top condition during the colder months.
Your greenhouse will have been a hive of growing activity over the previous months, so now is a good time to give it a thorough clean, inside and out. Wiping the windows is especially important in autumn as it ensures maximum light enters the greenhouse to help continue ripening late season crops. Pay attention also to the inside, including wiping down benches and pathways, so that you eliminate any grime or overwintering pests. You might also want to make space to sow winter seedlings.
Revitalise Your Lawn
If you’ve got kids at home, your lawn may have taken a bit of a battering over the summer months. Even a dry spell of weather may have left it looking less than its best. As summer ends, now is a good time to get your lawn back in shape. Rake the grass to aerate the soil and to remove any thatch and moss. Apply an autumn lawn feed and lay new turf or sprinkle grass seed to any areas that have become worn or bare.
Lift Tender Plants
Some plants are vulnerable to the cold and will perish at the first sign of frost, so now is a good time to lift tender species such as cannas, and keep them in a frost-free environment over winter. The greenhouse will normally suffice for winter storing of tender plants, and for extra protection, you may wish to wrap them in horticultural fleece. For young trees that can’t be lifted, protect them over winter by wrapping the trunk with a special tree-guarding cover or fleece.
If you want to prolong the life of garden furniture, it’s a good idea to store items away in a garage or shed over winter, or, at the very least, cover them up. Now is also a great time to clean tools so that they will be ready for action once winter has passed.
Make Leaf Mould
When the trees in your garden start to shed their leaves, this is a great opportunity to make leaf mould. Deposit the leaves in plastic sacks and allow them to rot down. Although this can take up to two years, the resulting crumbly mixture adds vital structure and nutrition to the soil – and it’s not something you can easily find in the shops.
Add Netting to Your Pond
Falling leaves may be beneficial for creating leaf mould, but they can be a nuisance if you own a pond. Leaves left to decompose on pond water can block pump filters and affect the quality of the water. To avoid this, add a layer of netting over your pond to prevent leaves from falling in the water.