There’s more to Autumn than watching leaves falling and squirrels burying nuts!
It is a lovely time of year to be outside and a little time spent now tending your garden will reap rewards come the Spring-time.
Here are 5 things you can do in your garden this Autumn.
1. Feeding and Mulching
Provide your plants with vital nutrients before the winter sets in by laying a rich mulch of organic compost or leaf litter. A good organic mulch not only provides a source of nutrients for your plants, but it can also improve the overall quality of the soil structure.
If possible, mulch with your own compost – for tips on how to make your own, check out our blog.
2. Pruning Herbaceous Perennials and Fruit Bushes
Now’s the time to have a good tidy-up in the garden and remove old or dead growth. If you cut back dead stems and top growth, it can also help prevent fungal diseases from establishing.
Perennials can be cut back to the ground once they have gone past their best, unless they have interesting seed heads. As well as looking pretty in the frost, seeds can provide vital food for birds and small mammals.
Fruit bushes can be thinned out too and the fruited stems of summer-fruiting raspberries can be pruned at the same time as tying in new canes for next year.
3. Plant a Tree
Late Autumn and Winter is the best time to plant a new tree while they are in their dormant state.
Larger specimens are available in the Autumn either as a root-ball or bare-rooted, which makes them a lot cheaper to buy than in containers.
The cooler weather allows roots to establish quicker, thus making them more resilient to heat and drought conditions come the Summer. They will still need to be watered carefully as the ground can still dry out quickly.
4. Plant Bulbs
Autumn is traditionally the time to plant spring flowering bulbs such as Crocus, Daffodils and Tulips.
Many need the cold to trigger a flower bud for the spring. By planting now they lay dormant over the winter and provide your garden with early colour as the season changes.
5. Leaf Litter – what to do?
As the leaves fall from the trees and shrubs, they provide a wonderful source of free organic matter and a source of nutrients for your plants.
Make sure you clear leaves from the lawn to prevent the grass from dying underneath, but don’t worry about clearing them for your beds or under hedges.
Leaf litter will rot down naturally and also provides a perfect habitat for insects and small mammals. If you do collect them up, either add them to your compost bin/bay or store them separately in a simple net cage or even in black bin liners stored in a sunny position to speed up decomposition.
Leaf piles are a great home for hedgehogs too, so remember to check before starting a bonfire or clearing with a pitch fork!
We hope you enjoy your Autumn Gardening.