Top Autumn tips to prepare your garden for Winter
Summer might be over but we have lots to look forward to with the beauty of Autumn ahead of us. We have some keen gardeners here at Michael Jones who are all starting to get busy preparing their gardens for the colder winter months ahead. Here is some of their advice for the big Autumn clear up:
Prepare your outbuildings and maintain tools
The days are starting to get shorter and the available natural light is valuable to your plants so now is the time to remove the shade paint in your greenhouse to maximise it. Clean the glass with some hot water and clear trapped leaves from any gutters to allow rainwater to escape from the roof of your greenhouse. Use this opportunity to replace any broken or damaged glass too.
While the weather is still warm, take the opportunity for a ‘spring clean’ by removing plants from your greenhouse before sweeping out any debris. Wash out pots and seed trays ready for next year’s sowing and planting.
You can also give the shed a good tidy out and before you store your lawnmower, it is well worth servicing it to ensure that it is in perfect working order ready for next spring. Sharpen shears and secateurs and give other tools a good wash. Dry them thoroughly and oil the metal parts to prevent rust. Wooden handles can be cleaned and protected with linseed oil
Dig up annuals and add them to the compost heap. You can replant your beds with winter bedding such as pansies, bellis daisies and wallflowers for a colourful display next spring.
Once your borders are clean and tidy, spread a thick layer of compost, bark chips or well-rotted manure across them. Don’t worry about digging it in – let the worms do the hard work for you.
shutterstock_119617030If your lawn looks slightly worse for wear then Autumn is the perfect time to revitalise it. Remove thatch (old grass clippings) and moss using a spring tined rake and add it to the compost heap. If you have large amounts of moss then you may want to use a moss killer first.
Areas that get lots of traffic can become compacted which can cause problems with drainage, weeds and moss. Improve by pushing a garden fork into the ground as far as you can, then wiggle it backwards and forwards to make air channels. Repeat this every 10cm (4in) across the lawn.
Brush a sandy top dressing across the surface of the lawn so that it fills the holes, allowing air and water into the lawn, followed by an application of autumn lawn feed to prepare your lawn for the cold winter months.
Autumn is a great time to lay new turf too, giving it plenty of time to establish before next summer.
Clear out compost bins
The autumn clear up of borders and vegetable plots always generates a lot of plant material for the compost heap. Autumn is an ideal time to clear out last year’s compost and use it around the garden to make room in compost bins for this season’s garden waste. If your compost isn’t quite ready then turn it to improve decomposition, and create a new heap – you can never have too much compost!
Protect tender plants
Make sure that you lift those tender plants such as Begonias, Dahlias, and Cannas before the first frosts threaten. Cut back the stems and gently lift the roots from the ground. Clean the soil from them and store them in trays of dry compost or sand, with just the top of the crown visible. The trays can be kept in a cool, frost free place over winter until they can be replanted when the spring arrives.
Decomposing leaves can turn your pond water foul and block filters on pumps. Save effort later on by catching leaves before they fall into your pond. Simply spread a fine meshed net across the pond and pin it down with bricks.
Although our teams generally specialise in selling and letting houses, the green fingered folk amongst us would love to compare gardening notes over a cup of tea next time you are passing your local office!
Content accurate at time of publishing.