Now that we’re in autumn, the garden will be starting to fill with orange, red and brown hues and falling leaves, and veggie plots are nearing the end of their lifespan. Although it is tempting to let the frosts and rain and nature take its course, there are plenty of things to be cracking on with in the garden though the autumn and winter.
1. Clean up diseased plants and leave the others alone.
While a lot of summer flowers can be left to rot and add nutrients to soils, diseased ones should be removed due to fungus and pests. By leaving the unaffected ones alone, it creates somewhat of a protection barrier for your soil through the winter.
2. Remove invasive weeds.
Deal with these pests now, removing them instantly and completely will ensure that they don’t sprout back and disturb next years crop.
3. Sort your soil for spring
By adding manure, compost, or organic fertilizers now, your soil will have time to start breaking down, meaning it will be more enriched for the spring.
4. Prune perennials
Focus your pruning on flowers like roses, herbs, or veggies like rhubarb. Take care to prune the right crops though – fennel is one that can benefit from an autumn pruning, but raspberries and blueberries prefer a spring pruning. Resist the urge to cut back flowering plants though as they will make great meals for the birds over the colder months.
5. Harvest and regenerate your compost
Now that the heat of summer is over and nature’s microbes are settling in for their winter’s nap, you may be tempted to ignore your compost heap. This would be a missed opportunity in two ways. First, material composted over the summer is probably finished and ready to go. Using this rich material to top up garden beds, amend deficient soils or fertilize lawns and landscaping will nourish your soil and jumpstart growth come springtime.
Wherever your garden, and whenever spring falls for you, there will always be steps you can take to prepare for next years gardening season. The above steps will help your spring and summer run much smoother.