Autumn is one of the most beloved of all seasons—the leaves burst with vibrant colours, the days get shorter and more intimate, and the weather shifts to a crisper temperature, calling for cozy clothing and toasty fires. For those with a green thumb, all of these signs trigger a need to complete your autumn gardening before the frost kicks in.
Don’t worry if you’re not sure where to start—we’ve got you covered with this must-needed guide for autumn gardening. From figuring out what to plant to tips for keeping your plants healthy all season long, we’ll make sure you’re ready to tackle all your gardening needs this fall. So let’s get started!
Brace Your Lawn For Winter
Getting your lawn ready for winter is an important step in ensuring its health and beauty come springtime. Begin by removing any leaves or debris from the grass, as well as trimming down plants and shrubs. Aeration of the soil helps to break up compacted areas so that oxygen, water, and nutrients can reach the roots more easily.
Additionally, fertilize and overseed your lawn in order to give it a boost of strength as it enters dormancy. Finally, fill in any bare spots with topsoil and water regularly to promote deep root growth.
Prep Your Perennials
In order to encourage brilliant pops of colour in the spring, you first need to prepare your perennials for the chilly months. This includes such tasks as removing as many weeds as possible, adding a thick layer of mulch, planting your spring-blooming bulbs (tulips, daffodils, etc.), disposing of any diseased or pest-ridden plants, and keeping up with watering once a week if you notice the garden going dry. All of this is going to add up to one gorgeous garden (not to mention less work for you!) in the spring.
Clean Up Your Annuals
Cleaning up your annuals gives you a chance to refresh your garden and plan out your springtime layouts. Start by emptying containers and cleaning out flower beds. The process of freezing and thawing can lead to cracked containers and pots, and a messy flower bed is a pain to tidy up in the spring.
Collect your seeds and take cuttings indoors so you can grow them during the colder months and replant them once the ground has thawed again. This will give you a jumpstart on next year’s gardening!
Remember to dig up any tender bulbs. You want them to rebuild their strength so you have beautiful, healthy plants when they’re replanted.
Refresh Your Veggies
From intricately planned rows of vegetables to a simple edible patch, your vegetable garden is going to need some autumn maintenance as well. Once you’ve harvested the last of your delicious bounty, it’s time to take care of business and get ready for winter.
First, you’ll want to completely clean out your beds. Remove all your plant debris to keep the pests and diseases away. Next, make sure that all your tools and accessories are tucked away. This includes stakes, labels, cages, and anything else you don’t want to get damaged by the harsh winter weather. Then, add compost to your garden; a thick 2- to 3-inch layer will ensure you properly enrich the soil in preparation for spring planting. Finally, you’ll want to cover your crops. Plants like mustard, peas, or cloves should be turned over to prevent erosion. This will also add plenty of nutrients to the soil for the next crop.
Don’t Forget the Trees and Shrubs
Autumn is the perfect time to plant your trees and shrubs! It’s actually the ideal time to start a new hedge or plant a young tree, as the cooler temperatures and longer nights are perfectly suited for root growth.
Make sure to fertilize your trees and shrubs before the cold winter months arrive. This will give them plenty of nutrients to get started on the right foot come springtime. On top of that, don’t forget to prune any dead or broken branches in order to ensure your trees and shrubs look their best next season.
Organize Your Tools
There’s nothing better than the excitement that spring brings to gardening enthusiasts—the promise of fresh, thawed soil, the joy of getting your hands dirty again, and the satisfaction of watching your flowers bloom in all their glory. However, there’s nothing to kill that excitement faster than opening your garden shed to find a tangle of hoses, a clutter of spades, and a heap of broken tools.
Take the time in the autumn to organize and store your gardening tools properly. This includes sharpening blades, cleaning off dirt, and oiling metal pieces to prevent rust. Be sure to drain all your hoses and irrigation lines—you don’t want the freezing weather to damage them, creating costly expenses in the spring.
Taking the time to prepare your garden for winter can save you a lot of stress and work when the weather warms and it’s time to get out those gardening gloves once more. Whether it’s cleaning up annuals, refreshing veggies beds, or organizing tools—all these little steps will help ensure that when spring finally pokes its head around the corner, you’ll be ready with beautifully fresh soil and unbridled enthusiasm. With some discipline and dedication now, you’ll reap the rewards later! So when the temperature begins to drop and the days begin to shorten, don’t wait any longer; grab those tools and get started on making sure your outdoor space is in tip-top shape before the real cold arrives.