The changing seasons bring new challenges and an ever-changing landscape. If you are putting your gardening gloves away, think again! Described as the best time to garden by the RHS, autumn brings a bounty of rich colour, texture and interest that will bring joy to the shorter and darker days ahead.
We’ve compiled our top tips to get started and prepare for the coming months:
1. Plant Bulbs
From containers to borders, begin to plan where you are going to plant your spring bulbs. Plant spring flowering bulbs like daffodils and crocus at the start of the season, ideally by the end of September, whilst the soil is still warm and soft from summer. If you are gearing up for a spectacular display of tulips, hold off a little while longer until November once the soil has cooled.
2. Keep on Top of Deadheading
Continually deadhead late flowering perennials to encourage further flowering that blooms well into autumn.
3. Stay Hydrated
It’s easy to neglect watering as we begin the transition from late summer into autumn. Make sure your thirsty plants stay hydrated by checking the moisture level of the soil and continuing to water.
Top tip: Play close attention to pots and containers, which are more prone to drying out.
4. Planting and Transplanting
Prolong the colour in your outdoor space with late flowering perennials, like Japanese Anemone, Aster, and Rudbeckia. Autumn is a great time to plant, not just new garden additions but also to divide and transplant existing plants in your garden to spread cheer.
5. Add Autumnal Textures
Look towards plants that don’t flower for added seasonal interest. Ornamental Grasses really come into their own during the later months of the year, invaluable for texture, movement and structure, either as standalone focal points or seamlessly blending with other perennials. Opt for evergreen specimens like Carex that will thrive and perform year-round.
6. Make Leaf Mould
Collect fallen leaves from borders and lawns to make leaf mould. Not only a great soil improver to feed next year’s plants, raking leaves also allows more sunlight to reach lawns for healthy growth whilst helping prevent disease.
7. Care For Your Lawn
Your lawn is probably longing for some rainfall and TLC following the drought of summer. The good news is that as the rain returns, lawns tend to pretty much recover on their own. Aerating (spiking) the soil can aid in letting water sink to the roots, helping recover from drought whilst preventing waterlogging. Repair and relay any lawn that can’t be saved during Autumn. As we move into autumn, your lawn can be mowed less frequently and on a higher blade setting (about 4-5cm).
8. Check the Forecast
Although we’re only just leaving summer behind, remember to check on the upcoming temperatures, especially in mid to late autumn, to avoid getting caught out by early frosts. Before temperatures drop too drastically, you will want to move your vulnerable precious plants undercover and wrap those that can’t be moved in fleece.
9. Look Beyond Plants
Create an enchanting, warming space with garden lighting. Solar panel lights are an efficient option with the flexibility to illuminate anywhere in your garden without the hassle of wiring. Experiment with different lighting options and placements to accentuate planting and create a cosy social space that extends the use of your garden.
As the colder nights draw in, you’ll want to think about protecting your outdoor furniture. Store garden furniture away or cover it with protective covers when not in use to avoid damage and keep them looking their best for next year.
Keep on top of garden maintenance. Begin with checking the sturdiness of fence panels and make any repairs before blustery autumn weather.
10. Gather Garden Inspiration
As the weather cools, make use of any extra time indoors to gather garden inspiration for your next outdoor project. Take a look at our Garden Inspiration categories for your next big idea!
Happy autumn gardening!