Autumn is such a beautiful time of year, when you can feel the crispness in the air and the multiple colours of autumnal leaves bring a whole new dimension to the garden. But there is always work to be done. Here are just a few suggestions of what you might want to get your green fingers stuck into this autumn.
Trees, shrubs and hedges
If you have planted anything during spring or summer, you will know that poor watering can really impact getting plants well established and thriving. This is why autumn is a good time to think about planting trees and shrubs. They are going into their dormant period and are less greedy for food and water. Once you have planted them though, do keep an eye on the weather. They will still need watering if there are dry spells over the next few weeks.
Give those evergreen hedges a bit of a tidy up too. As growth grinds to a halt, you can be happy in the knowledge that this is a job you won’t need to do again until the spring, when plants literally spring back into life.
Depending on how warm it is will determine when your lawn sees its last cut. October is often when this happens. Cutting grass that is wet or has seen a frost will damage your lawn, and too short a cut will damage the turf and allow for moss and other weeds to creep in. So, keep an eye on the weather forecast and try to lift the mower slightly for your final cut.
Other lawn care duties could also be carried out, such as scarifying to take out dead plant materials and excess moss. You can do this on smaller areas with a rake, but you may need to use a scarifier which you can hire from a tool hire shop, for larger lawns. Also consider moss killers and fertilisers – but we are not a fan of anything that has a negative impact on the environment or the eco-system of your garden. So, if you can bear a little moss, and don’t mind some of your lush green grass being replaced with a few wild-flowers which prefer less fertile soils, maybe skip these and stick to good old fashioned manpower. Your garden and wildlife will thank you!
If you have anything in your greenhouse, we recommend giving the glass a good clean. Not the most obvious garden maintenance job, but as the days get shorter and darker, you need to maximise the light getting in. Giving your greenhouse a good clean every year before it gets too cold, is also a good way to reduce pests and diseases that build up and can survive winter. To make the glass sparkle nicely, we recommend a weak solution of washing up liquid.
Leaves, leaves, and more leaves
Finally, if you are already battling the seemingly never-ending fall of leaves, you could collect them to create leaf mulch. Many people don’t realise what a rich soil conditioner leaves can make, but they do take some time to rot down. A dedicated pile with plenty of ventilation is a good idea. Side the pile with chicken wire and bean poles – and watch out for hedgehogs when turning it! Making your own soil conditioner is good for the environment, but so is leaving some leaves on the lawn too. Worms will pull them down and do all the work for you!