With summer packing her bags and already waving goodbye, it’s time to prepare for pretty autumn and her lovely colours. The time for beaches and pool parties is behind us, and now we should focus on cups of the delicious honey tee, warm slippers, and Halloween. As we are slowing down and silently reflecting, we shouldn’t forget about our garden. Here are the top gardening tips you should do this autumn.
1 –Prep the soil
There’s no better time than autumn to really dig in and prep the soil for the upcoming seasons. It would be impossible to do it come winter because the ground would freeze, and in spring, the plants are too busy growing to appreciate your efforts. So autumn it is. With all the heavy rain, the soil will be easy to dig, and you’ll be able to move the plants around easily. Use the chance to prepare new flower beds as well as to do some serious weeding.
2 – Find friendly fungi
Friendly fungi such as Mycorrhizal fungi really help the plants build healthy and strong underground networks of roots. As a result, the plants take in moisture and nutrients much better and in less time than before. They will do it on their own, of course, but you can speed up the process significantly by adding these fungi when planting.
3 – Focus on your lawn
Just like you’ll be feeding the plants with the fungi, you should also feed the lawn. The cold is causing the grass to grow more slowly, but not the roots. So, this is the best time to repair the roots as the soil is still warm from the summer. Find a slow-release lawn food to help strengthen the root system and use a retractable garden hose to keep watering it if there’s no rain in sight. As a result, you will have stronger and thicker grass.
4 – Prune your trees
Not only is this a good exercise, but it’s also an essential part of every gardener’s routine. Swing that axe mercilessly, cut off the branches, and throw everything out on the compost heap. Don’t be shy, and don’t be scared because the more you cut back, the more the plant will grow in the spring. Not just that, but pruning also helps the plant to survive the cold and dry months of winter since there aren’t too many leaves or branches that have to be sustained on meagre resources.
5 – Use the cuttings
If you have some hardwood herbs such as rosemary, banksias, or even grevillea, you can take 4 inches of cuttings and use them to grow new plants from scratch. It’s important to remove all of the lower leaves and, if possible, dip cuttings into hormone powder. Once you do that, pot them in small containers, keep the soil moist, and shelter them from direct sun and strong wind.
6 – Divide your perennials
Autumn is the time to dig up and divide your perennials. If you have dahlias, cannas, daylilies, foxgloves, or peonies, this will help you keep them safe. Lift them from the ground and re-plant them into soil that’s been well-conditioned. Autumn planting means you will have to mix some fertiliser into the soil or put some in your planting hole.
7 – Buy healthy plants
If you’re looking for plants for next season, look for those that are already well established in their containers and have strong roots. Don’t reach for those that have obviously been sitting around for years. Take a good look at the roots that show out of the drainage hole – if they are white and fresh-looking, you have a healthy plant ready to be planted in the ground.
8 – Plant for spring
Autumn is the perfect time for spring planning and planting. Feel free to plant plenty of daffodils, hyacinth, muscari, anemone, tulips, and the like. For these plants, pick a spot that has light, well-drained soil, or simply keep them in pots that can be moved out of sight after flowering. If you live in a warm area, keep hyacinth and tulip bulbs in the fridge for about two months before you plant them.
9 – Get rid of the leaves
Rake all of the fallen leaves and grass clippings, and pile them high onto your compost pile (or compost bin). You don’t want the dead leaves to smother your beloved plants and nice grass. The alternative is to use the leaves as mulch in garden beds.
10 – Feed the soil
This is the time to ‘feed’ your compost pile with the goodies such as grass clippings, pruned pieces, tree cuttings, and fallen leaves. This increased compost pile will help spread life over the prepared soil. Pile about two to four inches of compost over tender plants and any newly planted seeds or bulbs. This mulch will help protect the plants from harsh winter conditions.
The colours of autumn are breathtakingly beautiful, and if you want to enjoy them freely and fully, you should make sure your garden is in good condition. Prepping your garden for the upcoming cold season is the perfect way to ensure all your herbs and plants will there come spring.