Tidying your garden in autumn not only keeps it looking neat in Winter, but also means that you will get a head start in Spring.
Autumn is the perfect opportunity to get rid of dead vegetation left over from summer, clear out your gutters and tidy up your borders, this month is all about picking up and packing down before the arrival of Winter.
Here are some top tips to make the most of Autumn in the Garden.
Tidy up Borders
To ensure that you have a beautiful display next Spring, remove dying leaves and collapsed stems from herbaceous perennials, either by hand or with secateurs, dig up annuals and plant your beds with pansies, bellis daisies and wallflowers. Cut back any perennials that have faded to around 5cms above ground level – leave some seed heads as these are great for insects and birds to enjoy whilst also providing some beautiful winter silhouettes on a sunny day.
Once your borders are tidy and clean, spread a thick layer of well-rotted manure, bark chips or compost. Don’t worry about fully digging in as the worms will help with this.
Collect Autumn leaves
Autumn leaves fall in large quantities in October and November. If you leave them in place they can smother the grass and fill the crowns of herbaceous perennials.
A few leaves that are out of the way such as under hedges can provide shelter for overwintering wildlife. Remove leaves from your garden and paths though – as these can be slippery.
Clean out your compost bins
The big Autumn clear up of borders and vegetable plots will generate a lot of plant material for your compost heap. Clear out last year’s compost and use it around the garden, making room for this year’s waste.
If your compost isn’t quite ready, turn it to improve decomposition, and create a new heap next to it for fresh organic matter. You can never have too much compost!
Work on the lawn
Remove moss and thatch using a rake and add to the compost heap. Use a moss killer if you have large amounts of moss. Brush in a sandy tip dressing afterwards followed by an application of Autumn lawn feed to prepare your lawn for the cold winter months.
Autumn is also a great time to add new turf to ensure it will be established before the summer months.
Make leaf mould
Once leaves reach a crumbly texture, spread as much as you can throughout your borders. Beech, oak, alder and hornbeam rot fairly quickly while sycamore, horse chestnut and walnut may take a little longer. Shredding leaves first will help to speed things up, but in general, this is not a fast process.
During the drab months of winter, evergreens provide structure and interest. Warm soil and cooler air temperature make Autumn the perfect time to fill gaps in your borders with evergreens like daphne and sarcococca which provide glossy leaves and beautifully fragrant flowers, even in the depths of winter.
Maintain garden equipment
Before you put away the lawn mower, it’s well worth investing in a service to ensure that it is in perfect condition when you need it in Spring, this includes, changing the oil, adding fuel stabiliser to the fuel system or removing all fuel from the mower, replacing the spark plugs and air filter, sharpen and balance lawn mower blades.
Shears and secateurs need sharpening and spades, forks and other tools benefit from a good wash. Ensure that you dry everything thoroughly and oil metal parts to prevent rust. Linseed oil can be used to protect wooden handles – ensure you dispose of rags carefully as linseed oil can combust as it dries.
Clean out nest boxes and feeders
Take down bird boxes and empty them of old nesting materials, unfertilised eggs and other debris that may carry diseases. Also remember to clean off feeders and birdbaths, and regularly re-fill them.
Sort out your garden pond
Scoop out any leaves before they sink down to the bottom and start to rot. Remove pond pumps and fountains that are no longer in use. Wash them thoroughly and then store over winter.
Put away plant supports
Cut down annual climbers in borders and climbing beans in vegetable plots and remove the dead stems and foliage from their supports. Wash off any soil and then treat with preservatives. Store indoor over winter.
Now that your autumn garden is clean, tidy and ready for winter, not only will the view from your house be so much more pleasant but when Spring arrives you will have a really good head start for when it’s time to get going again.
Gardens in Bramhope are blessed with having some beautiful and very well- tended gardens, outdoor spaces now add a price premium to your house sale. If you are considering a move and would like a free market appraisal call David Phillip Estate Agents on 01134 676 400 w:davidphillip.co.uk a: 86, Leeds Road, Bramhope, Leeds LS16 9AN.