Tackling the autumn garden is always on our to do list before the change of season. Its important we make sure we tend to a couple of things to keep our garden ready for the return of summer the following year.
Summer seems to be everybody’s favourite time of the year, from care free family days out and backyard sunbathing, to the seemingly endless stream of wedding invites and afternoon BBQs. There just always seems to be more going on when the sun is shining.
The same is true of your garden. Summer is the time for the juiciest fruits and the most vibrant colours to blossom. However, all good things must come to an end. For most gardens, autumn signifies a countdown to dreary browns and bare lawns. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s look at tackling the autumn garden with some quick and easy tips.
Add Some Autumn Colour
In my experience, autumn is the time for raking the leaves and moving potted plants either indoors or into covered forgotten areas. I’ve been looking into autumnal flowering plants that will add colour well into the winter months. Hydrangeas from The Tree Center offer large colourful blooms and thick dense foliage from midsummer.
My favourites include the upright Paniculata, the Quercifolia with its oak-like leaves, and the Arborescens, which adds extra ‘buttery’ colours as the leaves very slowly fade throughout autumn (there’s even the Petiolaris Hydrangea, which creeps up walls and fences adding extra colour around the edges of the garden).
Look After the Lawn
Lawn care is a year-round task with the potential to become much more time consuming during bleaker weather conditions. Plan ahead to avoid disappointment. First, rake the lawn. This sounds obvious, but old dead grass can lurk close to the soil – this can attract microbes and bacteria that could infect the healthy grass roots.
Next, purchase a lawn repair kit that contains a seed-and-feed mixture. Scatter with a density of no less than 35 grams per square metre of fading lawn. Don’t worry about seeding over existing grass – this is called ‘over seeding’ and will help to refresh the lawn. Lastly, spike the lawn using a garden fork. This will help with drainage and prevent swampy conditions.
OK, we’ve covered colourful plant life and we’ve got the hang of lawn care. But what about pests? Autumn is synonymous with slugs and snails that love to come out in damp conditions to munch through leaves and bulbs – younger seedlings are particularly at risk.
For a cost-effective solution, I advise setting traps such as jars half filled with a sweet liquid or alcohol – sink these jars into the soil and be sure to set them near to the plants you wish to protect (empty them daily). Slug and snail pellets are also available from the supermarket. Be sure to read the instructions, and prevent small children from playing in pelleted areas.
These are just a few tips to help you keep your garden looking beautiful from summer to autumn. If you have tried anything else or have any tips please do share them.