For many gardeners summer is spent constantly watering, dead-heading, weeding and cutting grass. And while this is a very busy time for gardeners it does not compare to the work which is done in autumn and the endless list of chores that must be carried out.
Autumn marks a time when the garden slowly begins to stop growing and wind down ahead of winter. Even though things are starting to slow down work in the garden kicks up a notch as gardeners must prepare seasons to come.
While it is very easy to get lost with all the jobs that should be done in the garden it is important to focus on the essential tasks at hand and ensure they get done first before other jobs are done. It is much better to focus on a few tasks and do them properly than trying to get everything done in the garden in one weekend. An autumn tidy up, as the name suggests, should and will take all autumn to carry out and so should not be rushed.
Below are some key tasks to get done this autumn. Doing these jobs will leave every gardener and home owner in a good position for winter and spring ahead.
- Collecting leaves and turning them in to leaf mould is a chore that will pay off in the long run.
- Plant spring bulbs. Autumn is the perfect time to plant spring bulbs. It is always good to think outside the box and not just plant daffodils. Look at fringed tulips or snowdrops and bluebells which are often overlooked.
- Cut back herbaceous borders. Clear dead foliage away in preparation of dividing in spring.
- Tackle weeds. Ensure you are going into winter and spring with a blank slate in terms of weeds in flowerbeds.
- Cut back shrubs that have gotten too big for their positions in the garden.
- Plant new trees and shrubs. This should be done in the earlier part of the season following a good amount of research to find the right tree or shrub.
- Clean out pots and store properly. If you do not plan to plant up pots now they should be washed out with disinfectant and stored away until spring. The same goes for plastic pots which will be used for the germination of plants in spring.
- Plant window boxes with winter flowering plants for some added cheer during the bleak months of winter. Violas and heathers work very well when under-planted with spring bulbs to come up in the coming months.
- Collect seeds. Collecting seeds from plants can be a great way of saving money next year. Store them in brown envelopes and remember to label them correctly to make identifying them easier the following year.
- Sow green manure on vegetable beds. Green manure can be sown on parts of a vegetable patches which will be left bare during winter. This can be a great way to add nutrients to the soil.
For more gardening advice during the year visit Beyond The Wild Garden.