Just because the busy summer period is behind you, it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do in the garden. Autumn is a great time to tidy up, start a side project and get your garden ready for winter.
Get rid of weeds
Long days and summer rains are the perfect conditions for weed growth, so there’s probably more in your garden that you’d like. Work your way around the beds pulling them out, roots and all. Use a weed puller to remove any that are well rooted. On the lawn, use a spray on weed killer and fertiliser. It will not only kill the weeds but also give your lawn a boost before winter.
Prune your trees
After excessive summer growth, your garden might be looking a bit rough around the edges. Prune trees and shrubs back into shape using a sharp pair of secateurs. Make sure you give them a good clean first and between plants to prevent the spread of any diseases through the cuts.
Start a compost heap
With all those weeds and tree trimmings lying around, now is the perfect time to start a compost heap. You don’t need to have a special compost bin or contained area but this helps keep things tidy. Amongst your garden clippings, throw in all your kitchen waste. A healthy compost heap needs a wide variety of ingredients. Also include some soil and mature compost which will add beneficial organisms to the heap and help get things started. Water occasionally and use a garden fork to turn it regularly to allow oxygen to aerate the heap.
Start a herb garden
Apart from Basil, pretty much every herb thrives during autumn. You don’t even need a garden either! Herbs grow just as well in pots or even on a sunny windowsill. Make sure the soil is well drained and improve it first using compost. Avoid the use of composted manures which can reduce the flavour of your herbs. If planting in pots, use a quality potting mix and make sure the pot is large enough that it will give the herb room to grow.
Put it to bed
Now that you’ve gotten rid of weeds, tidied up and started something new, you can put a big winter blanket over your garden with a layer of fresh mulch. This will help the soil retain any moisture it has and reduce the regrowth of those pesky weeds. It also helps the soil retain warmth, which will help keep it healthy. Use a hay or straw mulch which adds nutrients to the soil as it breaks down.