The South West London Gardener

5 Key Ways to Prepare your Garden for Autumn

autumn leaves

As August turns into September, it can be easy to feel sad about the fact that summer is coming to a close.

But now is not a time to feel downhearted, as Autumn can be just as enjoyable.

Sure, the weather isn’t as hot, and the days aren’t as long, but there’s a reason 22% of Brits name Autumn as their favourite month.

Leaves changing colours, deep and rich sunsets, and long walks through the countryside make this season one of the best, and it can be just as good in your garden.

Here at The Southwest London Gardener, we love making the most of every season, including Autumn, and that’s why we’ve created this handy guide on how to start getting your garden Autumn ready.

Let’s take a look.

Have a Good Clean

In Autumn, gardens can begin to look a bit messy.

With leaves falling and blustery winds filling your garden with debris, the time it takes to maintain a clean and organised garden can start to grow as we get into September and beyond.

This is why there’s no time like the present to have a good clean and prepare your garden for what’s about to come.

Focus on the things you may not be needing anymore, such as the barbecue, and the furniture if you have some.

If you have a garage or shed, place these items somewhere they can stay dry and clean when not needed.

While the weather is still warm and dry, it’s also a great idea to get out your power washer and give your patio or decking areas a good clean. You may not find the time to do this in Autumn and it won’t be as enjoyable when the weather gets colder.

What you don’t want is the leaves in Autumn to fall on already clustered gardens as this will lead to it feeling clustered and can be slippery, so spending a day making sure your garden is spotless as Autumn comes rolling in can save you lots of time catching up with your cleaning in the colder months.

Look After Wildlife

Summer is a great time for wildlife.

While some animals such as hedgehogs will hibernate throughout the harshest months of the year, wildlife such as birds don’t have such a luxury.

This means you must prepare to give them the food they need to get through Autumn.

What you need to look for are high-fat foods.

Birds use energy to keep warm through cold nights, and therefore if you can provide them with the perfect food to do this, it will be a big help. Things like peanuts and suet pellets make great choices.

It’s also a good idea to make the most of the fallen leaves and twigs that fill your garden in Autumn. Wildlife will love using this stuff as a home, so why not spend the next few weeks preparing a space in your garden in which they can feel at home and where you can store your garden waste and turn it into a shelter for the local wildlife.

As the nights get colder, animals can find it hard, so if you have some nesting boxes or birdhouses it’s a good idea to give them a quick clean and stock them up again so that the animals can find them and have somewhere they feel nice and warm.

Get your Spring Bulbs Ready

When it comes to preparing for Autumn, your mind should also be on the following Springtime.

This is because early September is the best time to get your Spring-planting bulbs in the ground so that they will blossom the following year.

Flowers such as tulips and daffodils can make a huge difference to a garden as they come packed with colour and personality, and now is the time to get prepared for planting in the coming weeks.

What you need to start doing right now is working out where and how you’re going to plant your bulbs.

Finding the right spot is ideal. Prepare your planting bed in a spot that gets plenty of sunlight. Make sure the ground is cool enough for planting and that your soil and bulbs are of good quality.

And of course, don’t forget to keep your soil moist. At this time of year, the weather may give you a helping hand with some rainfall, but for the drier weeks, keep your watering can handy to provide a quick dash of moisture when needed.

And finally, make sure the area you are selecting for planting is spacious enough to give your flowers the space they need to grow. Aim to leave a gap of about the width of two bulbs between each one and bury it around the depth of three bulbs on top of each other for the best results.

Prepare for Winds and Rain

With the coming of Autumn comes a turn in the weather.

Temperatures drop, rainfall increases, and wind can get heavy.

That’s why now is the perfect time to make sure your garden can withstand the conditions it is about to be in.

If your fence is damaged and looking a bit wobbly, performing a fix now while it is still standing and may only need a small part replaced can save a lot of money in the long run.

A weak fence in heavy wind will fall down and this will take a lot longer and be much more expensive to fix.

Other things it is wise to check is that your guttering is clear and there are no blockages and that your plants are pruned. If there are lots of dead sections of your flowers and plants these will come loose in heavy wind and will lead to your garden feeling untidy.

Depending on the size of the debris, it could also damage some segments of your garden and your home.

If you are comfortable that everything that needs to be is secure and strong, and that there is nothing that may come loose in a storm, then you can count your garden as Autumn ready.

Keep Your Grass Short

Have you ever tried mowing your lawn when the grass is wet?

If you have, you will have found it much trickier than when grass is dry.

There are several reasons for this.

Firstly, wet grass will stick inside your mower and on the blades and could clog up your mower if not careful. It’s also tricky to cut your grass evenly when blades of grass are wet as they can be slippery and not stand up as they should when mowing.

This, as well as health and safety issues concerned with using an electric mower when it’s wet, make mowing a wet lawn a no-no.

So, what can you do when it comes to Autumn?

Well, dry grass may be few and far between, so it’s always best to make sure your grass is as short as it can be while staying healthy leading into September.

Your grass won’t grow as quickly in these conditions as it would in the summer, so if you get a head start on mowing, this will stand you and your lawn in good stead.

When you do get a dry few days and you get a chance to get mowing, make the most of it and keep that grass short.

The Southwest London Gardener

Whether you love long days sitting under the sun, or chilly days wrapped up in your favourite jumper, your garden should never be off-limits.

Here at The Southwest London Gardener, we believe gardens should be enjoyed all year round.

If you need some help designing your garden or are looking for some inspiration to transform your outside space, get in touch with our team today.

With Autumn on the horizon, getting your garden ready now can save a lot of hassle in the long run. With this guide though, you’ll be Autumn ready in no time and prepared to enjoy this wonderful season to the fullest.