8 ways to prepare your garden for autumn

Give your outdoor space some love this season

As the summer heat fades and the brisk winds of autumn approach, gardens undergo a significant transformation. Trees shed their leaves, and the vibrant colours of summer flowers give way to the rich, warm hues of autumn.

While many might see autumn as a time to retreat indoors, for gardeners, it’s a crucial season to prepare the garden for the forthcoming winter and ensure a bountiful spring. Spending time in your garden now will grant plenty of benefits for the months to come.

Whether you’ve recently moved into new homes in Gateshead or have been living in the same space for years, giving a little love to your garden this autumn can boost your curb appeal and improve the overall look and feel of your home.

With that in mind, here are eight simple ways to prepare your garden for autumn. Let’s take a look.

Clean up fallen leaves

While the fallen leaves of autumn can create picturesque landscapes, they can also smother grass and provide a haven for pests. Regularly rake and collect leaves to keep your lawn healthy. Consider composting them; over time, they’ll break down into rich, nourishing compost for your garden.

Plant autumn-blooming flowers

To ensure your garden remains vibrant and colourful through the colder months, plant autumn-blooming flowers. Chrysanthemums, asters, and sedum are excellent choices that not only brighten up your garden but also provide essential nectar for pollinators.

Prepare the soil for spring

Autumn is the perfect time to enrich your garden soil. Add compost or well-rotted manure to your beds, giving it ample time to integrate with the soil and provide a rich base for next year’s plants.

Protect perennials

Perennial plants can benefit from a bit of extra protection during the colder months. After the first frost, cut back dead plant material and mulch around the plants. This not only keeps the soil warmer but also prevents the freezing and thawing cycle that can heave plants out of the ground.

Prune and protect trees and shrubs

As plants go dormant in the cooler months, autumn provides an excellent opportunity to prune deciduous trees and shrubs. By removing dead or damaged branches, you help to invigorate the plant and stimulate new growth come spring. For delicate shrubs or young trees, consider wrapping them in burlap or protective cloth, especially if your area is prone to heavy snow or strong winter winds. This can help prevent breakage and shield them from severe frosts.

Plant spring bulbs

For a beautiful burst of colour in early spring, now’s the time to plant bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths. These bulbs require a cold dormancy period to bloom, so planting them in the autumn ensures they’re ready to sprout once spring arrives.

Harvest and store

If you have a vegetable garden, autumn is the time for the last harvests. Collect mature fruits and vegetables, and consider storing surplus produce. Root vegetables like carrots and potatoes can be stored in cool, dark places for extended periods.

Winterize water features

If you have a pond or any water features, it’s essential to prepare them for winter. Remove any decaying plant material to prevent toxins from building up in the water. If you have fish, ensure the pond won’t freeze solid, or consider using a pond heater.

Autumn garden preparation is not just about winding down; it’s about setting the stage for the next season. A little effort in the autumn ensures a healthy, thriving garden in the spring. Embrace the changing seasons, and take the time to nurture and prepare your garden. The rewards, both immediate and in the future, are well worth the effort.

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