Tidying Your Garden for Autumn
It’s been an unfortunate summer here in the UK.
It doesn’t really feel like we’ve had a chance to enjoy any sunshine properly, yet it’s already time to start thinking about tidying up for autumn.
Giving your garden, shed and greenhouse a good clear-out now means that come spring you’ve already got a head start. It will also help to keep your garden looking well-tended and tidy throughout the dull winter months.
Here are our top-tips for autumn gardening:
1. Move Potted Herbs Indoors
If you like to grow your own herbs in the garden, plan to move them indoors in the autumn before the weather becomes cooler. The pots will thrive in a warm, dry corner that gets plenty of sunlight and is not exposed to any frost or snow.
2. Check Trees for Damaged Branches
Prevent rotting or broken branches from damaging people and property during winter storms. Once your trees start to lose their leaves it will be easier to spot any troublesome branches that will need cut down.
3. Repair any Property Damage
Has your shed got a leaky roof, or has a panel on your greenhouse cracked over summer? Getting these repairs sorted before the winter weather arrives will prevent any further damage to your garden and belongings. Give wooden furniture a coat of protective paint, if you haven’t already this year, check the roof, windows and doors on your outbuildings for leaks and gaps, and give your fence a check over for rotted panels that could fly off in a storm.
4. Clean Out Bird Boxes and Feeders
Food debris, nesting materials and unfertilised eggs are a breeding ground for germs and disease, so take the time to properly clean these areas to protect our wildlife.
This video from Sussex Wildlife Trust has some great tips for looking after your equipment.
Strip down nesting boxes, bird tables and hanging feeders and give them a good scrub with hot soapy water before rinsing and drying. Make sure you wear protective gloves at all times.
Keep feeders topped up with seeds, nuts and other suitable leftovers over autumn and winter to keep birds and other wildlife well-nourished when the temperatures drop.
5. Tidy Your Borders
Come autumn time your annual plants will be looking a bit past their best, so it’s time to get them dug up and replaced with new bulbs that will flower in spring. Take time to clear out fallen leaves and debris from your flower beds and replace oil soil with rich compost or manure to protect the bulbs from winter weather. Transfer more tender plants into pots and keep them in safe in the garage or greenhouse.
6. Take Care of Your Lawn
If you have a real turn lawn, then this is the second time in the year when you should give it a good covering with weed killer. This will get rid of any seeds blown on from your summer plants, and will prevent a new covering of weeds when your lawn revives next spring. Use a good quality fertiliser to help strengthen the grass throughout the cold winter too.
Keep your lawn looking lush throughout winter by giving it one last mow on a longer length setting, and use an edging knife to sharpen the overgrown edges.
7. Recycle Your Autumn Leaves
Did you know that leaf mould is a fantastic soil improver, and can be made at home with no effort at all? Rake up all your autumn leaves throughout the season and pack them into a bin liner as tightly as you can. Once the bag is completely full, tie it tightly shut, pierce a couple of holes in the bottom and top up with some water.
Hide the bag away in a corner of your garden for 6 months to 1 year to turn the leaves into a great soil conditioner. Use it to give compost a boost or use it as mulch to keep moisture in your flower beds.
8. Tend to Your Tools
Spending a bit of time and effort now will prevent your tools corroding and rusting in the shed over the winter months. Sharpen the blades on your secateurs, clean the oil filters on all your petrol-powered tools like lawnmowers and give trowels and forks a good scrub in soapy water to remove any built-up grime.
9. Clear Away Garden Items
Pack away all of your garden tools and larger items like garden furniture sets, barbecues and kids toys that can get damaged by winter weather. We always recommend using a waterproof cover on furniture and barbecues, or better yet store them in your garage or shed if you have the space.
10. Look After Potted Plants
Insulate pots with materials like bubble wrap or a sheet of cardboard, and use bricks or planks of wood to raise them from the ground to prevent waterlogging in wet weather.
We hope this list helps you get your garden ready for autumn. Make sure you tag is in any autumn garden snaps on Instagram by using the handle @azumaoutdoor, and we’ll feature our favourites on our page!