The summer months are behind us as we head into autumn and it is time to prepare your garden for the autumn and winter months. With our useful hints and tips, it is easy to keep your garden looking bright and beautiful throughout the colder months of the year.
Preparation is key
Before it gets too cold, get outside and prepare your garden. During September and October, the weather shouldn’t be too chilly which allows you to get stuck into it before it is too cold to do so. First and foremost, clear dead leaves and foliage and add them to your compost pile instead. Make some space for the groundwork. Weed all of your paths and get them clean before putting some weed killer down to keep those pests at bay. During the spring time, you will really appreciate having made some time to clear the paths as you will have less work to do.
If you want to expand, now is the time
If you’ve been considering extending your garden, autumn is the ideal time to do so. During the autumn months, plants have a good chance of a strong start before the tough winter weather makes matters more difficult. If you are considering adding a new lawn, autumn is also a great time for this because it will become strong before the cold weather makes it difficult for the lawn to grow.
Take cuttings if you want to make new plants
Winter is the ideal time to take cuttings to make some brand new plants. Cuttings of around 10 cm are ideal. Remove any lower leaves, put the cuttings in some hormone powder and then place the cuttings in a pot. Inside the pot, put plenty of decent quality potting mixture. The cuttings should be placed in an area that is sheltered from strong weather conditions such as sun or wind. Ensure that the cuttings are kept moist.
Add to your compost bin
Autumn is the prime time of year for fallen leaves. Collect fallen leaves along with any grass cuttings, scraps from your kitchen and layer them inside your compost bin. Every so often, turn your compost with a garden fork. This feeds the organisms and allows air to circulate around your compost. This makes the organic matter decompose quicker. Try to keep a balanced mix of ingredients rather than just filling your compost bin with just one material.
Embrace earth worms
When you begin to notice earth worms in your garden, this is a great sign that your garden soil is now fertile. Organic materials including leaves and cow manure attract earth worms. Earth worms add nutrients and make tunnels in your garden. As earth worms eat, organic matters pass through their bodies and passes through as dark castings. Each day, an earth worm produces its own body weight in castings. These act as a great fertilizer which cannot be provided to plants in any other way. Sudden freezing can kill earth worms, so protect them with mulch or a cover crop.
Bill Dawson is a keen gardener and blogger. When looking into lawn care he often visits www.pitchcare.com.