10 effective ways to get your garden ready for autumn

September 2021

If you’re wondering exactly when summer happened you’re probably in good company. But, as signalled by the nights drawing in, we’ll soon be walking through leaves on the ground and reaching for our hats and scarves as temperatures drop.

As a result, you may be looking at your garden and wondering how to prepare it for the colder temperatures ahead. If you are, here are 10 great ways to ensure your outdoor space is ready for autumn.

1. Dig up annual flowers

While annuals bring vibrant colour to the garden, they struggle with the winter months and are difficult to maintain during the colder seasons. Uprooting them and putting them in the compost pile is the best way to get the most from them.

2. Deadhead the roses

Doing this encourages continuing bloom, something that adds a second wave of colour to your garden as summer flowers die. If you see leaves with dark marks on them ensure you dispose of them properly, as this will help prevent the fungus that causes black spot.

3. Use late-flowering plants to fill in gaps

If you find you have gaps in your borders you can use plants such as helenium to fill them. As the plants are tough and flower late, they can provide a wonderful splash of colour, making your garden feel more vibrant through autumn.

4. Add fertiliser to your lawn

While you may not think your lawn needs fertiliser, in fact, it needs it as much as other plants. Lawns and most plants absorb nutrients through their roots, which is why it can be a good idea to give them a helping hand before the colder months arrive.

5. Get rid of weeds

Weeds are the cause of many headaches for gardeners, which is why it is a good idea to get them under control before autumn arrives. If you don’t, you could find yourself with a huge de-weeding project when spring arrives. Take them out at the roots and remember to de-weed between the cracks in the patio.

6. Make leaf mould

Leaf mould is a great way to recycle fallen leaves as they can provide organic matter to your soil. Create the mould by finding a sheltered spot in your garden and use wire mesh and wooden stakes to make a bin, which you can fill with leaves and sprinkle with water.

Leave them until they are a crumbly texture, then spread the mulch throughout your borders. While many leaves rot quickly, shredding them before putting them in the bin will speed it up.

7. Protect young trees

If you have a fledgling tree, remember it will need protecting during the colder seasons. A good way to do this is to use a special tree guarding wrap to protect its trunk, which is usually available at a local nursery or home improvement store. Also, place mulch around your tree’s base as this will protect the surrounding soil from frost, but make sure you do not touch the trunk with the mulch.

8. Cut your perennials

An issue with perennials is that they not only survive the cold seasons; they thrive in them. As a result, when spring arrives your garden may be overrun by the flowers, which is why it’s a good idea to cut them back. Typically, it’s best to dispose of the cuttings to prevent further growth in other parts of your garden.

9. Protect tender plants

Species like begonias and cannas need to be sheltered from frost. To do this, cut the stems back and gently lift them out of the ground. Clean the soil off them and place in trays of dry compost or sand with just the crown showing. Then store in a cool place where frost will not be an issue when temperatures drop, so that they can be replanted in the spring.

10. Prepare your pond, furniture, and gardening tools for winter

Now is a good time to trim hedges, clean the pond and cover it to protect it from falling leaves. It’s also the time to cover your garden furniture and clean your gardening tools in preparation for next year. While cleaning, give the tools a health check and replace any that are past their best, before putting them away in a dry location. Applying oil to the moving parts of your tools will also help preserve them.

Get in touch

We hope these suggestions on ways to prepare your garden for autumn are of interest. Aside from getting the most from your garden, if you wish to discuss your wealth, please email info@watsonlaird.com, or contact your financial planner on 028 9066 0719.

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