The last lingering bursts of summer sunshine are few and far between and it’s time to face facts. Autumn is here. Officially the first day of autumn was the 22nd September, so it’s time to embrace fiery golden foliage, shiny conkers underfoot, blackberries on hedgerows and maybe even start thinking about breaking out the electric blanket. But what does all this mean for the autumn gardener?
As well as inevitably having to clear an abundance of colourful leaves from your lawn, here are our top tips for your gardening to-do list this season.
Make the Most of Your Autumn Harvest
If you grow fruits and vegetables in your garden with any luck you’ll still be getting produce in autumn. Keep harvesting it regularly and if you have more fruit and veg than you can handle store the rest as it’d be a real shame for your delicious home-grown foods to go to waste.
- Freeze fruits and you can incorporate them into baking recipes at a later date. Washed out ice cream tubs or plastic takeaway cartons make handy freezer storage containers.
- Surplus fruits can also be dried or used to make homemade jams or wines.
- Most vegetables can be frozen too or alternatively they can be preserved by pickling.
- Onions and potatoes will keep for several months as long as they’re stored in a dark, dry area in a breathable bag.
Don’t be Caught out by Frost
Before Jack Frost gets his icy tendrils into your garden, move any potted plants likely to fall casualty to the cold weather inside to keep them healthy. Check the plants for pests beforehand and hose off any creepy crawlies so you don’t bring unwanted guests into your home!
If you have any herbaceous or perennial plants (the types that flower year after year) that you’d like to move, now is the time to do it before the ground gets too cold and hard.
Plant Spring Flowers
You may find yourself feeling a little gloomy as the mornings and evenings get darker, but planning ahead for spring could be just the thing to cheer your spirits. Plant your hardier spring and summer bulbs now and enjoy a host of hyacinths, lilies, crocus and of course golden daffodils come springtime. Wordsworth would be proud.
Allium bulbs like garlic, onions, leeks and chives can also be planted at this time of year.
Prune, Remove and Compost Dead Plants
Cut back plants that have grown a little too unruly over the summer and remove dead stems to encourage future growth. If trimming your bushes and shrubs is more labour intensive than usual, your hedge trimmer could need some maintenance. Restore it to its former glory with replacement parts from our site.
Remove old crops, weeds and dead annual plants from your garden too. You can either compost them or even start preparing a bonfire ready for November. Stand by for toasted marshmallows!
Buy Summer Garden Appliances
This tip is one for the folks out there who buy their Christmas presents in the January sales. If you’re a sucker for a bargain (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) there’s no better time of year than autumn to get great deals on summer appliances like lawnmowers, trimmers and sprinklers. As long as you have a secure storage space like a garden shed or garage, why not?
Just remember, if your old garden appliance is flagging you can save even more money by buying replacement parts for it instead of a brand new machine. Giving your existing appliance a new lease of life will really let you get the most bang for your buck.
No matter the season, a gardener’s work is never done. Colder, wetter weather is the true test of any gardener’s commitment, but stay determined! The more effort you put into your garden at this time of year, the greater the rewards you’ll reap once the warmer weather returns. Happy gardening!