10 Gardening Jobs for the Autumn
As the nights draw in, there’s plenty to do in the garden ahead of the colder months.
To prevent any casualties, here’s our list of simple, but effective, gardening jobs for the season ahead.
Now all you need to do is schedule them around those inevitable rainy afternoons!
1. Clear Those Leaves
As the leaves fall, be sure to clear your lawn of any fallen foliage before the really cold weather sets in. This not only helps to make things look tidy, but also allows all the air and nutrients to get to your lawn. A thick layer of leafage can block water, air flow and nutrients from getting down to the lawn’s root system. Make sure you set your debris aside for composting, to use as fertiliser in the future.
Try to tidy up your hedges before winter sets in so they’re easier to maintain when the cold weather hits. Pruning your fruit trees is also key – as pruning stimulates the formation of fruit buds and flowers, thus encouraging a stronger harvest next year. Once you’ve given your hedges a trim, don’t forget to water thoroughly to keep them in good condition.
3. create habitats for wildlife
Remember to create small piles of debris and twigs throughout your garden to give homes to insects, birds and small animals. A simple pile of twigs will be a wonderful spot for hedgehogs to hunker down.
4. Cut back herbs
Cutting back your herbs in early Autumn encourages a new flush of growth and prevent energy going into flower and seed production which will, in turn, reduce the flavour.
If you have herbs potted in small pots, you can bring them into a greenhouse or indoors for fresh herbs further into the winter.
5. mulch, mulch, mulch
This is the perfect time of year for mulching where there is still some warmth in the soil and plenty of moisture which you can trap beneath a cosy blanket of mulch. Mulching is used to retain moisture, reduce weed growth and promote healthy soil.
You can use wood chips, grass cuttings and fallen leaves – dead, organic plant material that provides precious nutrients to the soil as it decays. Add a layer of mulch around your trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials.
6. fill in the gaps
If you’ve got gaps in your garden borders, there’s still time to fill them in with late-flowering plants — such as heleniums— these offer a delightful pop of colour and keep your garden feeling alive through the autumn months.
7. sort out the pond
If you’re lucky enough to have a pond, now is the time to scoop out any fallen leaves from your pond and cut back on surrounding plants to keep it as tidy as possible. Add a polystyrene float or ball to ensure a hole stays open if the surface ices over during the winter.
8. clean your pots
The best time to clean plant pots is at the start of a new season. Dirty pots can contain pests, bacteria and fungus that can really do damage to your garden so it’s important to be thorough. In a sink or a large container, dilute bleach with water to create a disinfectant. Use a stiff brush to scrub away dried soil and debris, then leave them to dry in the sun.
9. tidy the greenhouse
If you have a greenhouse, this is the ideal time to give it a good clearout. Empty pots and remove old compost and plants; this helps to avoid unwanted pests. It’s also a good idea to give the glass a wash with a very dilute washing up liquid solution; you’ll be amazed at the difference this makes to how much light gets in, and this is really important if you’re storing tender plants in there over winter.
10. plant your spring bulbs
Now is the time to plant your spring bulbs to add colour to your garden come the spring—crocuses, tulips and daffodils are sure to brighten up any outdoor space. Meanwhile, there’s a whole host of plants that flourish in the winter that you can incorporate into your planting schedule for the coming year.