Whether it’s your first autumn as a gardener or your fifth, there’s no denying that the season can be difficult. Many gardeners feel lost after the summer, and the temptation to pack up for winter can be great — but really, there’s no need.
As with any season, during the Autumn there are all kinds of fantastic changes taking place, and a gardener with a close eye can take advantage of those changes to make their garden even more glorious than before, during even the drabbest of weathers. You can make the most of this glorious season with these five top tips:
Autumn through to early spring is the time for hardwood cuttings. The tougher, mature-looking growth is what you’re after, so cut the branch here and trim off the softer, greener part. The cuttings should be about the thickness of a pencil for the very best results.
What with the leaves starting to fall, now is the perfect time to start a compost pile. Grass cuttings, leaves, and leftover food can all be added to the pile.
Turn the pile every now and then using a garden fork, and you’ll have a fresh, nutrient-rich pile of compost in no time. Compost is great for growing everything from flowers to vegetables, so having a good stockpile of it is worthwhile.
Earthworms mean that your soil is fertile, and having them around increases the nutrient level in your soil. If you can’t see any worms, you might want to lay down some organic matter (such as manure or compost) to attract them into your garden.
It might be worth investing in a bird-feeder, stocked with a variety of seeds to attract various different species— yes, they probably will eat some of the worms, but on the other hand, they’ll also get rid of those pesky snails! Besides, when the trees are bare and your garden’s looking quite barren, birds make everything seem brighter.
Give your lawn a good feed before winter with some slow-release fertilizer. This should keep your grass loaded with nutrients and carbohydrates well into the winter.
If you’ve already applied weed killer to your lawn, now’s a good time to make sure it’s worked. You may need to use more or change brand if it hasn’t, but make sure you go for a selective herbicide — any non-selective type will wipe out theweeds and the lawn.
It’s not uncommon for gardeners to take great care of their gardens but still neglect their tools. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you — autumn is the perfect time to clear out your shed, throw away any out-of-date products, replace blunt blades and treat wooden handles. If you need new tools, you can purchase them from your local garden centre, or any number of online retailers.
Following all these tips will ensure that you have a thoroughly productive autumn that will see your garden in great condition when the winter eventually rolls around.