Tips To Prepare Your Garden For The Cooler Weather
Autumn is a great time to be out in the garden. The weather is finally bearable and there is plenty to be done to prepare your garden ahead of the coolest months of the year no matter where you are in the country. Follow our guide to get the most out of your garden this autumn.
To keep your plants tidy, healthy and to help them to preserve energy during winter, summer-flowering perennials should be pruned or ‘dead-headed’ before or in early autumn. This can be done by simply snipping the buds once they’re past their best. If you have evergreen hedges in your garden, light, frequent trimming is all they need at this time of year just to ensure they stay tidy and healthy. Autumn is also a great time to complete any formative pruning on younger plants and hedges, and to tidy up trees and branches that overhang eaves and fence lines ahead of the wet and windy winter weather.
Time to feed
You should aim to fertilise your garden twice a year; in early spring before it gets too hot, and in autumn, once the extreme temperatures have dissipated. Heat causes stress for most plants, so in summer they go into survival mode. During this time they aren’t prepared for, and cannot utilise extra nutrients, so fertiliser can actually draw their focus away from coping with the extreme conditions. Autumn is the perfect time for the first feed of the year when the weather is just right.
The rate at which your lawn grows will slow considerably during the cooler months, making the end of summer and start of autumn the perfect time to prepare it for the cooler temperatures and reduced hours of sunlight ahead. Making sure your lawn is as happy and healthy as possible at this time of year will give it the best chance of survival through the harsh conditions experienced during winter.
Take advantage of the law few weeks of warmer weather with regular, yet light mowing, along with a weekly soaking and a good feed with some organic fertiliser to encourage one last flush of growth before winter. Autumn is also a great time to aerate your lawn to allow rain and oxygen to penetrate the roots. Be sure to do this before fertilising to ensure the nutrients actually reach the roots.
START A COMPOST
A good compost can take up to three months to develop, so the start of autumn is a great time to make a start to ensure your mix is ready in time for spring. It’s much easier than it sounds, and it also provides a place for you to dispose of the leaf litter and debris that accumulates during autumn.Follow our guide to create the perfect compost.Tip: a shredder will help your turn your garden waste into black gold in half the time!
Autumn is also an excellent time to introduce new plants to your garden, however, it’s important to ensure your soil is in tip top shape before you do so to give your new plants the best chance of survival. Before you get planting, cultivate your soil about 8-10cm deep. This can be done using a cultivating tool or attachment, or with a rake or a shovel. Whichever option you go for, make sure you loosen the full area as this will allow water, air and nutrients to penetrate the soil and reach the roots of your new plants.
STIHL tools are designed to reward you with many years of service if they’re cared for correctly. Autumn is a great time to service your tools, particularly if you live in an area of the country where growth almost comes to a halt over the winter months and some of your tools go into storage. And if you have a fireplace at home, it’s also a good time to sharpen your chainsaw chain to ensure you’re ready for the cold weather when it arrives. Servicing your tools now will ensure they’re all ready to go when spring arrives and everything takes off again!