With winter on the horizon, it's time to tidy the garden and prepare for the cooler weather over the coming autumn and winter months and start thinking about the year ahead. Although October weather may seem a little unpredictable, there are certainly a set of tasks which we can follow to ensure our gardens remain beautifully organised through the colder periods, and by keeping our lawns and plant life in a good condition through winter, we can allow them to flourish not only during cool weather, but also come spring time.
Autumn Lawn Care
With colder weather beginning to make an appearance, you may notice that the falling of leaves from vegetation surrounding your lawn is increasing. It's important to be proactive and rake these away before the blockage of light is detrimental to your lawn. Plus they can be used to make leaf mould. It's also worthwhile pruning back hedges and shrubs to let in more light and improve air circulation. Keep mowing the lawn regularly if the grass is still growing, but raise the mowing height as the weather turns colder. October is most likely the last chance to apply any lawn dressings and carry out any lawn renovations you deem necessary. This can be followed up by an autumn lawn feed, which with its low nitrogen content, will deter lush grass growth, which is susceptible to winter-related diseases.
Preparing For the Year Ahead
Autumn also offers us the perfect opportunity to plan ahead for a successful spring time bloom. October is a great time to focus on flowers for next year, so get planting your spring-flowering bulbs. Wall flowers and forget me nots can be planted in pre-prepared ground or pots too. As the cold weather hits, you may begin to notice that the remaining summer bedding plants are started to struggle. At this point you may wish to consider removing them and replacing them with winter favouring flowers to brighten up your garden display, bringing it back to life during the darker days of the year. Now is also a good time to begin digging over your soil in cleared or new beds, in order to expose pest larvae to birds and harsh frosts. This will also help clear any weeds, as well as improving soil structure. Avoid digging whilst the soil is wet though, as this will damage the soil structure. It's important not to leave your soil exposed for an extended amount of time though, as any heavy rain can have negative effects in the form of erosion, as well as valuable soil nutrients being washed away. In order to combat this, you should apply a protective mulch, sow a green manure or lay down black polythene sheeting over bare areas, leaving your ground as nutrient-rich as possible when it comes to spring time planting. The next few months will certainly give gardeners cooler conditions to work in; however by making use of the warmer days, we can ensure that our garden remains in a strong, stable condition throughout the winter, enabling our bulbs, lawns and shrubs to flourish when we begin to experience warmer weather.