6 Autumn Garden Jobs You Need to Do Before Winter
Amongst the miserable days, autumn also brings us some beautiful weather days that are made for spending out in the garden. Crisp fresh air and clear skies make gardening in autumn an experience of which you’ll want to make the most before it starts to get colder and wetter.
Autumn is a great season for carrying out some necessary care on your garden, being your opportunity to treat it before temperatures drop and winter damage starts its course. We’ve compiled a list of essential autumn garden jobs that’ll make for a successful spring and summer season next year.
Bring Sensitive Flowers Indoors
Bringing in any plants and flowers that you’re not confident will survive the winter is an essential autumn garden job. Flowers such as dahlias, geraniums, and fuchsias will need to be moved to a sheltered, frost-fee place that’s not too warm. Cool and well-ventilated environments like sheds, garages or conservatories are ideal for keeping sensitive plants safe during the colder months.
To give them the best chance of survival throughout the winter, cut the stems so that they’re around 5-10cm in length from their base. After cutting them, dig up the plant and gently remove as much soil as you can from the roots, then pot them using just-moist compost and keep them in a shaded area out of direct sunlight. If your flowers are stored in the perfect environment, mould won’t be an issue, however, check them regularly for any signs of rotting to avoid any permanent damage being caused to the plant.
Choose a plant stand that’s weather resistant so that you can move it around and enjoy it throughout every season. Our gorgeous range of plant stands is made up of pieces that are both practical and stylish.
Plant Winter-Friendly Flowers
Although autumn is the known season for a good and thorough tidy up, it’s also a great time for planting your winter flowers. Soil is moist from autumn showers and the temperature hasn’t dropped too low yet for the ground to harden; this soil condition is ideal for new plants to settle and form new roots, giving them a chance to bed in before winter arrives.
To maintain colour in your garden throughout the winter months, plant evergreen or winter-flowering plants. Some of our favourite winter-flowering plants are:
- Winter heather
- Winter aconite
If you want a pop of colour in your garden but you want to keep your planting to the warmer months, don’t be ashamed to go faux for winter. Our artificial plants allow you to have colourful foliage whilst keeping warm and safe from the colder weather.
Manage Fallen Leaves
It’s easy to ignore fallen leaves and wait for them to naturally decay; however, in order to preserve the quality of your grass, you’ll want to effectively manage fallen leaves instead of just letting nature take its course. Although some fallen leaves can be good for your lawn, a thick layer of accumulated leaves can end up suffocating your lawn over winter and leave you with bare patches come springtime.
Fallen leaves can form mulch that will contribute to building up healthy soil, however, if you’re going to let this happen, ensure that the layer of leaves on your lawn isn’t too thick and is evenly spread out to prevent grass from becoming damaged underneath. If you don’t want to rake the leaves, wait for the leaves to dry out and become crisp and then mow over them, shredding them into smaller pieces that will allow air to reach underneath.
If you prefer your garden to be leaf-free but want to utilise fallen leaves, you can collect the leaves and create leaf mould using a leaf bin. After a year, the leaves will have turned into mulch but if you’d prefer to leave it another year, the leaves will have then rotted into crumbly compost that’s ideal for digging into the ground and using as a soil conditioner.
You can also use excess leaves to help out animals throughout the colder weather. Make piles of leaves underneath hedges and shrubs to provide cover for hedgehogs in the wintertime.
Mowing, Edging, and Pruning
You’ll want to give your lawn and flowers one last tidy up before winter frost sets in. When it hits mid to late autumn, give your garden one last mow for the year. Wait for a dry day and mow your grass to around 5-7 centimetres long – a healthy length that’s short enough to protect from snow mould but not too short that it’ll shock the grass.
As well as mowing your grass, autumn is a good time to tidy up and edge your borders. Remove any turf from untidy edges with an edging tool and then keep them sharp and trim using hand shears.
As well as lawn care, you’ll want to prune your perennials, trees, and shrubs in autumn, cutting back dead stems and withered seed heads to prevent fungal disease setting in.
Collect Seed Heads
Spend time in your garden looking for the seed heads of your favourite flowers. Pick and cut seed heads that have turned brown and withered on the plant as the seeds in these will ripen well. Store the seed heads upside down inside a bag and wait for the ripened seeds to fall into the bag. Those that fall can be used for sowing next year.
Doing this in autumn will save you money on seeds when spring comes around or you can give them to your green-fingered friends at Christmas time for a thoughtful and thrifty gift.
Clean Out Your Pond
Make sure your pond is kept clear throughout autumn to ensure it’ll stay healthy in winter and start to thrive again when spring arrives. Regularly remove any leaves that have fallen into your pond using a net; any leaves that are left will sink and start to decompose, ruining the quality of the water and contributing to a boggy pond.
If you have fish or water plants in your pond, scoop these out and keep them in water whilst you clean out your pond – this will protect them whilst you clean and also give you easier access to leaves and muck. If you want to give it a thorough clean before winter sets in, use a pond vacuum alongside the bottom and sides to clear out as much muck as possible.
Hopefully you’ve found our list of essential autumn garden jobs useful. If you have any other tips for autumn garden care, please leave a comment below to help out future readers and fellow garden lovers!