As we go into autumn with the temperature falling, and rainfall increasing, it can be tempting to put off gardening. Then the sun comes out, the leaves crisp and we remember how important it is to get outdoors. As the number of daylight hours decreases, it’s good to try and make the most of all the sunshine and vitamin D that we can get. If you struggle within the autumn and winter months, spending time in your garden can really help for a number of reasons.
Why Garden During Autumn & Winter
Gardening during autumn and winter gets you outdoors, increasing your number of daylight hours which helps reduce the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It also gets you moving and exercising which releases mood-boosting endorphins. Taking the time to reconnect with nature is always calming and good for the soul. Taking care of our gardens can also fill us with hope. It helps us to keep planning and looking forward and fills us with a huge sense of achievement when things start to grow. You will also be rewarded with a lovely garden to relax and enjoy throughout the summer months.
Are you convinced? If so, read on for ten ways to get your garden ready for spring this autumn.
Ten Ways to Get Your Garden Ready for Spring This Autumn
1. Pack Away Fairweather Garden Furniture & Ornaments
It’s best to buy all-weather furniture and ornaments for the garden. However, we all get tempted by outdoor cushions and fairweather ornaments. Now is the time to be your future friend and store them away safely during the autumn and winter months. This way they’ll keep in great condition for you to enjoy next spring. Look around your garden and cover or tie down anything that could blow away or be damaged during winter weather.
2. Repaint & Protect Wooden Garden Furniture
We love wooden furniture as it can stay outside all year long. Now is the time to give it a wash and treat it with a preservative, wood paint, or oil to protect it during the winter months.
3. Lawn Care
How’s your lawn looking? During autumn give it a good cut at the first opportunity as it can be hard to get the chance during long periods of wet weather. To care for your lawn, remove thatch and moss using a spring-tined rake, aerate (or spike) your lawn allows better movement of air and water and avoid waterlogging and add lawn feed to encourage strong root growth, which will help your lawn recover quickly from a harsh winter and display lush green growth in spring.
4. Clean Up The Leaves
It wouldn’t be autumn without the sight of fallen leaves on the ground so there’s no need to over tidy. However, it’s important to clear dead leaves off paths, patios, steps, and decking or they can be a slippery hazard.
5. Tidy Up Borders
A well-planned border will ensure a colourful garden all year round. Tidy your border by removing dying leaves and collapsed stems from herbaceous perennials. Remove weeds, then spread compost or well-rotted manure over the soil to insulate plant roots. Dig up annuals and plant your beds with pansies, Bellis daisies and wallflowers.
6. Plant Hardy Perrenials
If you have any gaps in your garden, consider planting some hardy perennials, such as sweet peas. Sweet peas grown in autumn will be stronger, healthier and more scented in spring.
7. Choose and Plant Your Autumn Planting Bulbs
Everyone loves spring flowers. Autumn is the time to plan and plant your autumn bulbs. It’s no surprise that the top three spring-flowering bulbs in the UK are tulip, narcissus (daffodil) and crocus, they make such a pretty display. Create a colourful garden by planting different coloured tulips- long gone are the days when you could only grow reds and yellows. Nowadays, as a result of careful breeding and hybridisation, you can find tulip bulbs for sale in a rainbow of colours: white, pink, red, lavender, green, orange, purple even rainbow and ice cream, as well as in a variety of shapes and styles: double tulip, peony tulip and, of course, the exotic parrot tulip. So now is the time to order and plant your tulip bulbs to grow the quintessential Spring flower.
8. Protect Your plants
During autumn begin to protect your plants from the winter frost. Bring delicate potted plants into a greenhouse, conservatory or the home. Cover the soil with mulch to protect their roots. Plants can be covered in large hessian sacks or bubbled wrap, tied for stability. Some people put blankets out and call it “putting their garden to bed” for the winter.
9. Feed the Birds
Don’t forget to feed the birds and wildlfe at this time of year. Put seeds and nuts in feeders and hang fat balls. As well as helping the birds, it also keeps your garden interesting to watch all year long.
10. Get a Garden Fire Bin
If you haven’t already, invest in a garden fire bin to burn garden dry garden waste. After a day’s hard gardening, make a cuppa, slice a cake and sit listening to the crackle of the fire, admiring all you’ve accomplished.
Before you know it, spring will soon come around and your garden will already be looking beautiful to enjoy in the sun.
What garden jobs are on your list for autumn? I now need to make time to get outside in mine…