Autumn Gardening Guide & Tips
Here is Garden City Cymrus guide on what you need to do in your garden during Autumn (September - December). Including, what to plant, what to cut back, how to protect your summer flowering plants over the winter, and of course how to keep your garden in tip top shape.
As the days get shorter, the weather gets colder and the flowers begin to fade, not all is doom and gloom. Each season has its own beauty and great benefits. This time of year we can really appreciate the changing colour of the trees, less weeds in the garden, and the new Autumn berries and edibles that are emerging.
What to plant
Autumn flowering/berry shrubs, trees and creepers and some evergreens for winter colour.
Top tip, when planting in the Autumn mix in some rich compost to improve your soil and a small amount of sand/grit below spring bulbs to protect them against the slugs. We recommend putting cardboard covered with a mulch such as wood chip around the base of the plants to protect the roots against frost damage.
What to cut back
Any shrubs or trees that have finished flowering are ready to be cut back into shape. Be sure to always check for birds nest before you chop away. Most birds will not be nesting at this time of year, however there are some that may. Pruning should be done well before the frost arrives.
Cut the grass for the last time this year. As we head towards winter and the weather gets wetter there will be less opportunity to cut the grass over the next few months. Also this is a good time to spike holes in the lawn using a garden fork or aerator to let air and water into the soil. This allows nitrifying bacteria into the soil and prevents the soil from getting to clogged. Its also a good time to add some fresh grass seeds or re -turf your lawn before the frost kicks in. Add a small amount of sand to high traffic areas.
Protect your summer plants
Once the foliage of lilies, begonias, gladioli and dahlia has faded, lift the tubers, bulbs and corns from the soil, allow them to dry off, then store them away some where dark and dry protected from the frost. Re- plant in the spring once the frost has passed.
Bring any half hardy shrubs or plants indoors or into a green house or cold frames over the next few months. If you are using a polytunnel consider adding a layer of bubble wrap to the walls as an extra layer of insulation. If this is not an option you can get frost protective fabric to wrap around your plants over the next few months. Don't forget to add a thick layer or cardboard and mulch around the base of plants to protect the roots against frost damage. Also it may be a good idea to tie any new plants such as shrubs or trees to a stake to protect them against the wind.
Consider creating an area for a new compost heap. Collect all the leaves that fall during Autumn and winter to create a fine new compost ready for your spring flower beds and new seedlings.