Now that it's officially autumn, we're turning our attentions to prepping our gardens for the colder months and for new life next spring. Here are our key tips that could help with the transition.
Gardening is typically thought of as a summer hobby but long time enthusiasts know that it is an all year round job. While plants typically don’t need as much care in the colder months, due to the fact that most go into dormancy, there are still plenty of jobs to do to tide you around until spring.
Here are a few tips that could help with the transition:
Water, fertilise and mulch evergreen shrubs
While evergreen shrubs do not die off in the colder months, they can need help to survive winter. Fertilising the soil in early autumn will help to give your plants the nutrients need to make it through the colder months and give them a strong base to grow again in spring.
As well as fertilising, use the opportunity before the first frost to give them a good watering and then lock this in with a layer of mulch. As well as preserving moisture, mulch helps to keep soil temperatures steady as winter progresses, giving roots as much time as possible to absorb nutrients before the ground freezes.
Prep your lawn
The key to having lush green grass come spring is the winter preparation you do in autumn. Plant seeds in early September to fill in any gaps in your lawn; these will grow in the following few weeks meaning your grass is patch free when winter is over. Follow this reseeding by fertilising your lawn, and keeping the grass watered. Fertilise once again mid-October, then mow your lawn to around two inches. Clear up any leaves which have fallen onto the grass as these block sunlight and cause grass to yellow.
Plant fruit trees, shrubs and perennials
Autumn weather conditions are optimal for planting fruit trees, shrubs and perennials as the soil is still warm, meaning roots can grow. The cooler temperatures are more forgiving on plants than the scorching sun, so they thrive both above and below the ground. Once planted, any new plants should be deep watered to encourage the roots to take hold until the ground freezes.
Clear up and clean up
As plants enter dormancy, now is the time to get rid of any dead foliage or diseased plants and branches. Any materials used to support plants, such as tomato cages, and gardening tools should be removed and disinfected using bleach water. Dead material such as rotting fruit and leaves should be removed, and composted if heathy. Diseased plants should be removed and got rid of, either by burning or by binning separately to the compost. Once all this material has been got rid of, water and mulch the soil to give it plenty of moisture through winter.
Plan any moving of plants and order seeds, look up planting dates
The best time to plan your garden for the upcoming year is in autumn and winter, as a lack of bloom can help you see areas which can be improved. You can also evaluate where plants may need rotating to avoid diminishing soil nutrition and disease. Once you’ve planned your crops, order seeds in; these can be stored safely over winter and mean you won’t be competing with the rush come spring.
Looking after your garden during the colder months will benefit your plants come spring, and make it that little bit easier to create a beautiful landscape full of lush plants and flowers. For great offers on gardening tools, visit Jewson Tools .