How to prepare your garden for autumn
Plan ahead to keep your garden thriving into the new year
With the end of summer just over two weeks away, how should you go about preparing your plot for the colder months?
- Get a spring plan together
As always, long term thinking and planning 6 months in advance is key to keeping your garden looking great. Winter is more about limiting the damage done by the cold while keeping your over-winter crops and flowers out of harm’s way, and preparing the way for your spring planting. Knowing ahead of time what sort of plants you want to plant, allotting them appropriate space and conditioning the soil accordingly, can save you valuable time before your garden shuts down for the colder months.
- Get ready for storing equipment
You’ll still need your lawnmower for much of autumn, but once the mercury begins to drop you’ll want to leave your lawn alone for a few months. While your gardening kit is in storage, make sure to sharpen and oil any blades- leaving it caked in mud until March won’t do it any favours- so make sure you stock up on the necessary supplies and sort out your shed to keep it watertight.
- Check your gutters
Autumn leaves can easily clog water drains at the best of times, so make sure they don’t have any help this year. Check gutters, water butts and downpipes for signs of debris build-up. Identify any trees that might cause issues- the leaves falling might look magical but enough of them can cause serious issues for your lawn. Above all, make sure you have a warm pair of waterproof gardening gloves!
- Treat and store wood
Wood doesn’t do well if left outside all winter. Your fences, sheds, benches or garden furniture can suffer if exposed to all that cold, wet weather. Treat it with varnish or creosote to ensure the water doesn’t do extra damage. If possible, clean up and/or repaint any garden furniture and, if possible, bring it indoors.
- Stock up on mulch
Mulching is great for autumn and spring, and can offer a little extra nourishment (and protection) to large plants and trees during the winter. Consider the soil improvers your plants will need to tough it out until Spring, and identify any plants that will struggle over winter- they may need removing.