As the nights begin to draw in and there’s a coating of dew on the grass in the morning, it’s time to start preparing your garden for autumn – even if this ends up being the year of the long-awaited Indian Summer.
These autumn months are the perfect time for you to clear any dead vegetation and do the groundwork before winter sets in. It’s the season of slowing down and getting ready to hibernate so that come spring, our gardens can truly spring back to life.
Clean the greenhouse glass
Make the most of the remaining light evenings and clean your greenhouse’s glass. After months of dry(ish) weather, dust, dirt and general debris can build up on the glass and that can impact the amount of sunlight that penetrates through. In the winter months when the sun’s rays aren’t as strong, having clean glass can help those greenhouse temperatures rise and thus protect the plants inside.
All you need is a bucket of hot water and a bit of elbow grease. You’ll want to wear some comfortable clothing to help you get the job done. A pair of our crinkle trousers with a tie waist are great for those jobs in the garden when the weather’s a little cooler but you’re still working up a sweat. Pair with a light cotton t-shirt so that you can easily move around.
Neaten up borders and hedges
To ensure your garden is spring ready, you’ll want to spend a bit of time sorting out your borders and hedges. Dig up anything you don’t want and sow some hardy annuals like marigold, cornflower and bishop’s weed. These autumn plants are easy to sow and require little preparation and maintenance. Take the time to cut back perennials to keep them looking good over the winter months.
Once you’ve tidied up your borders, spread a thick layer of compost or bark and allow nature to do its work. Over time the materials break down gradually and release nutrients into the soil.
Spend time on the lawn
Use a rake to remove thatch and moss from the lawn and add it to your compost heap. If your lawn has an abundance of moss and lichen, using a moss killer first can help. Once you’ve cleared your lawn, you can then add some autumn lawn feed to prepare your grass for the colder months.
Rake the leaves
It’s the time of never-ending leaf raking, but instead of putting the leaves straight into the bin, create a leaf mould. Find a sheltered spot and use wire meshing and wooden stakes to make a large bin.
Every time you rake up the leaves, add the pile to the leaf mould. Once the leaves become crumbly, you can spread them throughout your borders. If you have the tools and the time, shredding the leaves first will help speed up the process.
Clear out the compost
Autumn garden cleanups create a lot of vegetation for your compost heap. But before you add any more to your existing compost, clear out last year’s pile and use it around the garden. If your compost isn’t quite ready, turn it over to help improve decomposition and just create a new heap.
Add a touch of life
An essential autumn gardening job is adding evergreens. Helping to break up the sparse look and feel of winter months, evergreens help to add a touch of colour and bring that all-important sign of life.
Warm soil and cooler air temperatures make autumn the perfect time to add evergreens to your borders. Alternatively, you can add oversized terracotta pots to desolate decking areas for a touch of glamour. Box or yew are also ideal if you’re a fan of topiary, but remember to pop on a pair of gardening gloves to carry out any of these autumn garden cleanup tasks.
Show your tools some TLC
Before you store your gardening tools away to be forgotten for the next six months, it’s worth spending an afternoon cleaning and drying them, and ensuring they’re all still fit for purpose. Storing them with dirt and debris in damp sheds can diminish their longevity and impact performance.
Shears and secateurs should be sharpened before storing too. And don’t forget the wooden handles. A coat of linseed oil will help seal and protect them against rot.
Why not get outside and prepare your garden for autumn while enjoying the last rays of sun. If you’re searching for some light clothing to wear while you work, you can shop the range at www.damart.co.uk. For more style tips and tricks, visit the Damart blog.