While gardening might be a hobby for the spring and summer months, the work isn’t done when autumn rolls in – taking the time to look after your garden and get it ready for winter will help ensure when next year rolls around you can pick up right where you left off.
Not sure what to do in your garden come September? Here’s a few handy tips to keep your garden going strong as the nights draw in.
Taking care of your autumn garden
September is actually the ideal time to start planting bulbs, trees and shrubs in your garden. The Royal Horticultural Society advises that spring-flowering bulbs should be planted by the end of September. This includes daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses. Summer-flowering bulbs, like crocosmia and lilies should be planted in September or October, and November is the best time to plant tulip bulbs. Ideally, you should plant bulbs as soon as you get them and they are perfect for growing in pots or in borders.
Trees and shrubs on the other hand should be planted in the ground between October and April, though they can be planted in containers at any time of year. The RHS also offers some great tips on how to prepare your garden for tree-planting, so you can make sure your new tree has the best start.
Of course, planting isn’t the only thing to do in autumn: regular maintenance is crucial too if your garden is going to survive the winter frost. There’s plenty of advice on this online: these tips from horticulturist Dan Pearson are particularly useful. Depending on the size of your garden and what’s in it, you may not need to do everything on this list but it’s a useful place to start.
Cleaning and tidying up your garden is also important, so that it’s ready for a beautiful display come spring. Spend some time tidying up and replanting borders and tending to your lawn, especially if it’s dried out over the summer. If you have a greenhouse, make sure no plants are obscuring the light it receives as daylight hours reduce in autumn and winter. It’s also a good idea to cover any ponds or fountains with net so that autumn leaves don’t fall in, and make sure all your garden tools are safely tucked away in the shed.
Looking for autumn inspiration
Often, gardeners use the autumn to re-plan their patch – so, come spring and summer, they have a whole new landscape to behold. If you’re hoping to rearrange and replant your garden, there’s plenty out there to offer vital inspiration. TV programmes like Gardener’s World and radio’s Gardener’s Question Time are treasure troves of information for budding and established gardeners. Better Homes and Gardens offers some great tips, as does the RHS.