Winter is coming and autumn is the perfect time to start preparing your garden for winter weather. Your garden doesn’t need to be dull and colourless just because the weather is kicking up a fuss. There are many jobs for you to do in the garden in October to prepare your winter garden, so here are our top 10 tips.
1. Remove greenhouse shading
In September, the days become shorter, and light is increasingly valuable resource. By removing the shade in your greenhouse you will maximise the sunlight available to your plants.
2. Spring clean your greenhouse in autumn
By tackling the inside of your greenhouse you will help reduce overwintering pests and diseases. Remove the plants before sweeping out any plant debris and disinfect the greenhouse paths and staging, and the inside of the glass too.
3. Sow winter vegetables
Don’t forget that you can still sow plenty of vegetables to grow in winter. Click here to take a look at our ‘Top 10 vegetables to grow over winter’ article.
4. Tidy Borders
Autumn is the perfect time to move poorly placed plants, and divide overcrowded perennials while the soil is still warm. Cut back faded perennials to 5cm above ground level, but don’t be too tidy – some perennials have attractive seed heads that look wonderful covered in autumn dew, and provide handsome winter silhouettes.
5. Lawn maintenance
Autumn is the perfect time to revitalise a worse for wear lawn. Remove thatch (old grass clippings) and moss using a spring tined rake and add it to the compost heap. If you have large amounts of moss then you may want to use a moss killer first. In areas that receive a lot of wear (such as paths and play areas) the soil can become compacted.
6. Clear out compost bins
The autumn clear up of borders and vegetable plots always generates a lot of plant material for the compost heap. Autumn is an ideal time to clear out last year’s compost and use it around the garden to make room in compost bins for this season’s garden waste. If your compost isn’t quite ready then turn it to improve decomposition, and create a new heap – you can never have too much compost!
7. Plant evergreens
Evergreens form the backbone of the garden, providing structure and year round interest, so the more evergreens in your garden, the better it will look in winter! With warm soil and cooler conditions, autumn is the perfect time to fill those gaps in your borders.
8. Lift tender species
Make sure that you lift those tender species such as begonias, dahlias, and cannas before the first frosts threaten. Cut back the stems and gently lift the tubers/rhizomes from the ground. Clean the soil from them and store them in trays of dry compost or sand, with just the top of crown visible.
9. Winter hanging baskets
There is no need to hide away your summer baskets for another year. Plant them with winter flowering pansies and you can enjoy a wonderful display this winter.
10. Maintain garden equipment
Before you store your lawn mower at the back of the shed, it is well worth sending it for a service to ensure that it is in perfect condition when you need it next spring. Shears and secateurs need sharpening – you can do this yourself or send them away if you prefer. Spades, forks and other tools will benefit from a good wash
Terri works in the e-commerce marketing department assisting the busy web team. Terri manages our blog and social media pages here at Thompson & Morgan and is dedicated to providing useful advice to our gardeners. Terri is new to gardening and keen to develop her horticultural knowledge.