Goodbye stinking hot Summer, and hello lovely placid Autumn! You’ve no doubt noticed the cooler mornings and nights and chances are you’re enjoying a rest after the peak growing season in your garden.
Autumn is great time for gardeners, as it lets us get in and tackle some of those jobs that were just too hard to justify during the peak of summer. If you’re not sure what you should be doing in your garden, then read on for our Autumn To Do List.
Grab some hand tools and do some cutting!
Autumn is a top time for you to prune your shrubs and trees before the Winter time lull. This is the last real growth period for most plants for the next 4 months or so, so it’s really the time to get things looking the way you want them to until Spring. Cutting back hedges and shrubs moderately, and removing dead wood is good activity, as it will get you the shapes you want, whilst leaving and promoting enough growth to sustain the plants over winter.
It’s important to note, to keep an eye out for flower buds when you’re pruning at this time of year. Lots of trees and shrubs set their Spring and Winter buds this early, and cutting them off will mean no flowers, and no one wants that!
Get stuck into your lawn.
I like to do 3 things to my lawn in Autumn. Cut, feed and treat. In Autumn the warm days and cool nights mean your grass has begun to slow down, but is still actively growing in the root system, meaning a little bit of tough love is quickly repaired and the risk of damage from a heat spell is less likely.
The first is bringing the height right down in the early stages of Autumn. By gradually mowing your lawns lower and lower at a high frequency (about the same as you were doing in Summer) you can seriously drop the length of your grass to a more manageable height if it got away from you during Summer. Getting lower will also help knock a bit of thatch out of your turf which will make it less ‘spongey’ and make your Spring time turf reno a heap easier.
Second is feeding. Spring is the best time for fertilising lawns, but a quick feed in Autumn will help kick a bit of last minute growth into the root systems and help repair any damage the hotter days caused, as well as give the lawn the best chance to make it through Winter looking good.
Lastly, Autumn is a prime time to test your pH and treat your soils. Grab a soil pH testing kit from any hardware store and test a few different spots in your lawn. Depending on the results, you might need to add some stuff to your lawn to level out the pH to around neutral (7). If your pH is low, add some ground limestone. If it’s high, add some Ferrous sulfate, which has the added bonus of boosting the iron levels in your lawn.
Autumn is the perfect weather to get outside and pull some weeds. The cooler weather means that you wont fry in the sun, but also means that most weeds should be slowing down as well, and be very close to setting seed. If you’ve kept on top of the weeds during the Summer, now is the time to get out and really dig them out. Pull any about to seed, as well as any little seedlings that are sprouting up. Feel free to cultivate your soil a bit too, because you’re about to have a plentiful supply of mulch…
Buy a rake.
Autumn is all about deciduous trees. They’ll be starting to turn and drop by now, and you know it’s only going to get worse. Getting a jump on fallen leaves means the mess becomes more manageable, and you wont lose patches of grass or garden that have been smothered. Throw your leaves into your compost bin, or mulch them up with your mower and send them straight onto your garden beds.
Got any other tips for Autumn gardening? Let us know below!