How To Prepare Your Garden For Autumn and Winter

Just because the hottest part of the year is behind us, that does not mean that there is not still plenty to do in your garden. You might not be getting out there quite as much over the coming months but in order to avoid headaches and make your life easier and more pleasant over the winter and next spring, here are some of the things you should be doing before the weather gets too bad:

Rainwater barrelsPreparing Water Harvesting Infrastructure:

If you have not yet set up a water harvesting system in your garden then now is a good time to do so, so you can catch the precipitation that falls over the autumn and winter. We may get fed up of the rain but it is actually a precious commodity. Make sure you collect the water from your roof in a water butt. If you are already all set up, this is the time to check your water butt, clean it out if necessary, and repair or replace any faulty pipe work or guttering. Give everything the once over now and you could save yourself a lot of hassle when the autumn or winter storms do arrive.

New LawnPreparing Your Lawn:

As the weather gets cooler, make sure that you set the blades on your mower higher and cut less frequently. Giving your lawn a bit of length over the winter will allow it to recuperate and thrive over the winter. Now is also a good time to repair any sections of lawn that were damaged in the summer months, or to lay new turf or grass seed. Make sure your lawn is edged, weeded and as free as possible of debris. This will make it easier to rake up your leaves over the autumn.

Tidy perennial borderPreparing Your Beds and Borders:

Make sure all your beds and borders are all neat and tidy – cleared of unwanted weeds and mulched or covered by a cover crop where annual vegetables have or will soon be removed. Cut back shrubs where you need to do so and make sure all the edges are tidy. Remove and burn or dispose of all diseased plant material and make sure that everything that should do so makes its way onto your compost heap.

Washing Plant PotsPreparing Your Patio and Seating Areas:

Before it gets too cold and wet to work outside, take the opportunity to weed your patio and paths and ideally give the whole area a clean, to reduce the algal growth that can bloom over the cooler months. Wash outside seating and furniture too and stow away anything that should not be outside over the winter. Wash out unused containers and pots and store for use next spring.

HedgerowPreparing For Autumn and Winter Wildlife:

Fill bird feeders and prepare places for birds and animals to shelter over the coldest months. Think about leaving fruiting shrubs alone as food for wildlife and always leave some areas of your garden a little bit wilder.