How to prepare your garden for autumn
20th September 2019
Watching the once green leaves transform into a fiery palette of auburn and amber before falling to the ground, crunchy underfoot, the transition of your garden from summer to autumn is simply magical.
Although the season is perfect for walks with loved ones, retrieving your scarfs and gloves from the depths of cupboards and drawers, it is also the last chance to spend time in your garden before spring.
Whilst your flower beds may have been brightly blooming with explosions of colour, the onset of cold weather may have left these looking a bit worse for wear. And with the final harvest of your allotment, you may be too busy casting your thoughts ahead to next summer's produce rather than focussing on now.
Despite the shorter days and drop in temperature, there is still plenty for you to accomplish in your garden. From preparing the borders for spring to making the most of your perennials and shrubs, find out how you can prepare your garden for autumn in this guide.
How to prepare your plants for autumn
Throughout autumn, many species are preparing for their winter hibernation – plants are no different. In order to preserve your plants for the next year, they must be in their best possible state before hibernation. According to Victoria from the blog Wood Create, her most important step to take towards gardening in autumn is: “Giving the garden that final once over before winter hits and the garden is left too unruly.” Taking a look at the soil they are buried in, any overgrown areas that are preventing the plants from growing properly or any damage to the plants is essential. These are all quick fixes that are easier to change during autumn, as the leaves will have shed, making them more accessible. She also advises: “a final mowing of the lawn to keep the grass looking neat in the winter. Luckily it doesn’t really grow in winter, so we don’t need to continue mowing beyond. Raking up all the fallen leaves to keep it tidy and then saving these in a dedicated leaf compost bin to use as mulch or soil fertiliser for plants in the future.”
Blogger Yaya from My Dreamality shared this insight to gardening during autumn: “Gardening in Autumn doesn't appeal to many, but I find that it's the best time of year to prepare for better weather, that's really the most important bit. Autumn involves a lot of raking leaves and protecting the plants from frost. But it also involves doing any work like changing flower beds, adding new pavers, etc. Planting evergreens, like holly, is a great way to ensure you are still motivated by working in your garden and bringing some colour to it during the cool autumn days. Oh, and plan ahead by ordering your bulbs for spring as the ‘best’ ones tend to run out early!”
“It’s definitely possible to keep your garden looking great in autumn too by choosing seasonal plants and flowers. Luckily garden centres make this super easy by stocking the right plants at the right time of year, so pop to your local centre to see which ready-to-plant flowers they have in stock that will thrive through the autumn months”, shares Victoria. If you use a stair lift at home, you may find spending time weeding and pruning your plants for the spring taxing, as it requires you to spend extended periods of time on your knees. To help ease your joints, invest in a knee pad to provide cushioning. Starting this task as early as possible is also helpful, as it means you can spread out the work over a longer period of time.
How to prepare your pond for autumn
A pond can be an eye-catching feature during the summer, watching the water glisten in the sunlight as fish swim beneath the surface. The milder climate means that you’re also more likely to spend time outside, providing you with ample cleaning opportunities, something which is often forgotten about in autumn.
If it’s chilly outside, the water in your pond will be too! The fish in your pond will need to acclimatise to the colder weather, so monitoring this with a thermometer can help give you a better indicator as to how much the temperature will change.
In order to prepare your pond and keep your fish happy, the most important step that you need to take involves adding a fine netting over the surface of the water. As the leaves fall from the trees, these have the potential to drop into the water. These leaves can decay, something which can cause harm to any species living in your pond. This fine net prevents this from happening and also makes it easy to remove any debris that falls onto it.
Things to do to prepare your garden for autumn
This autumn, spend time in your garden making it a great place to spend time year-round by following these tips and tricks:
- Start clipping back plants and chopping off any parts that have died early
- Neatly mow the lawn, strimming the edges to ensure that it is all the same height
- Have a clear out of your garden shed to remove any unwanted items or rubbish
- Add any debris, leaves or leftover grass to compost
- Change up flower beds to add new plant species
- Order your spring plants and bulbs
- Look for seasonal plants to keep a splash of colour in the colder months
- Add a net to your pond
Are you interested in more gardening related content from Age UK Mobility?
How to Prepare your Garden for Spring
Gardening tips for those with Limited Mobility
Must Have Items for your Garden this Summer
Make your Garden more Mobile and Manageable this Summer
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