The Autumn Garden Lawns, Borders and Containers

Here are a few tips and ideas to prepare your Autumn garden for winter and the following spring.

LAWNS

  • If your lawns are looking a bit pale, treat them with an Autumn feed. Autumn fertiliser has a high content of Phosphorus and Potassium, this will help your lawns survive the winter by growing strong roots, enabling the grass to take up the nutrients and moisture it needs. In addition, the building of strong cell walls will help the grass fight disease next season. Read our Guide to Lawn fertilisers.
  • There is no set time of year when you should scarify your lawn. If you have time this Autumn then go ahead, if you are too busy then put it off until next spring. The only rule of thumb; As long as your grass is growing it will recover well after a good raking or deep scarifying with a machine. Read our Guide on Lawn Care and Scarifiers.
  • If you still need to cut your grass then it means its still growing and is a great time to  reseed bare patches in your lawn. See our Super Reseed Tips Here.
  • Lawns can be cut at anytime throughout the winter as long as it’s not frosty. Grass will stop growing as the weather gets colder, however if you have a mild spell the lawn may look a bit untidy, it will not hurt to give the grass a light trim.

Containers and Baskets

  • Plant spring bulbs in pots  about 4 – 6 inches deeps into the compost. Then plant winter bedding on top.
  • Stop squirrels stealing your bulbs by rolling the bulbs in chilli powder!
  • Use violas, pernettyas, ivy, bellis and primrose in baskets to brighten your winter. See our How to make a Hanging Basket video.
  • Spray pansies, violas and bellis early to avoid powdery mildew and fungal attack. Use a general fungicide like Fungus Fighter.
  • Plant 3 or 4 Hyacinth bulbs in pretty bowls filled with free draining compost around the last week of October. Place in a dark cool place for 8 – 10 weeks.  How to look after Hyacinths after Christmas

Extra Autumn Tips

  • Resist the urge to prune flowering shrubs. You might lose next years flowers.
  • Cut back perennials as soon as you can. Often the weather turns cold quickly and we don’t feel much like going out in the garden. The perennials turn to mush and become difficult to prune and tidy.
  • Keep on top of leaves. Read our post on Cordless Leaf Blowers. These new breed of machines are very impressive and excellent value too.
  • Install solar path lights in your borders. As the evenings draw in these great lights can keep your garden alive. Anyone can install them!
  • Cut the dried flower heads from hydrangeas before they go soggy and use them in displays in your home.
  • If you are thinking of planting roses, prepare the area now by digging in some bagged manure or compost in readiness for planting from November onwards. Bare root roses become available around the end of October and are considerably cheaper than potted roses. Many companies like Crocus and Thompson & Morgan allow you to place orders now and will dispatch the roses when they become available ready for planting.
  • If replanting roses this winter avoid rose replant disease by using  Mycorrhizal fungi
  • Cut back lavender, this should be done at the beginning of September but if the weather is mild you will just get away with it. Cut back as hard as you can, avoid cutting to far into the woody part. Lavender can sprout from old wood, but you could risk losing the plant however if you have an unwieldy looking plant then it’s worth the risk. There is nothing worse than a woody sprawling lavender with a splash of green and a few flowers at the end!
  • Have you seen an abundance of daddy long legs in your garden? If so, consider spraying your lawn to kill Leather Jackets. The daddy long legs grub (Leather Jacket) eats the roots of grass leaving unsightly dry patches on an infested lawn. Spray in September with Nemasys Leather Jacket Killer
  • Take pictures of areas in the garden and plants you would like to change next year. This will help remind you where plants are before they start poking their heads through next spring and will show up areas to fill with spring bulbs.
  • Use sodium percarbonate to clean garden furniture, kill moss and algae on paths and drives. This oxygen cleaner is one of the most versatile and best value products we use in the garden. We are amazed how few people know about it’s uses and it’s Eco friendly too.
  • Consider perusing the online garden centres for your garden supplies and plants. We have given a run down on the best with a delivery price comparison table to help you get the best value. We even let you know where you can use your Tesco Club Card Vouchers to buy plants! Find our pick of the best in  Our Guide to Buying Plants Online.