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Autumn Tasks To Do In The Garden This Year

If you want to make sure that your garden is beautiful all year round, that means focusing on it at each major part of the year. Of course, in essence that means that you need to think about the different seasons, and whether or not your garden is where you want it to be at the start of each season.

pumpkins, gourds, and fall flowers

In this post, we are specifically going to talk about the fall, or the autumn. We’ll discuss all of the major tasks that you should carry out in the garden during the autumn, to ensure that it is beautiful and exactly as you want it to be – and that you are getting it ready for winter, ultimately, too.

Prune & Tie Back

The first thing you should do is take a look at your perennials, and see whether they need tying back or pruning at all. Your perennials are anything that lives for more than two years, so that will include most trees that you are likely to have in the yard, as well as a range of other plants too. For all of these, it’s wise to keep them well pruned at the start and end of summer, and the early autumn pruning is perhaps the most important of all.

That’s because it helps to keep the tree in a good condition for the colder months. If it is too sprawling, then there is much more of a chance that it will not readily survive the winter. So early autumn is the perfect time to tie back and prune your perennials, from your redbud trees to your vines and more.

pruning a small tree

Tidy Up

In general, autumn is very much about tidying up the garden and yard space. While you may feel that there are not quite as many big jobs to do as there are in summer – and that is certainly true in most parts of the world, for most gardens – there are a lot of tidying up tasks that you may wish to carry out, and this is the best time to do them.

This can be something simple like raking the leaves and clearing them away, or trying to clean off any mildew that may have developed. Those are the kinds of things that you should certainly think about doing before it gets too much colder.

Likewise, if you have a shed, polytunnel or similar, you should clear those out as well, so that they are ready for the new season next year.

Some Weeding

Although most of your weeding will probably be done in the summer, when all the growth occurs, there is still often some need for it in the autumn and even early winter too. It’s much easier to keep on top of it at this time of year, too, so you might find that it is something to do before it gets more difficult again. In many ways, this can be a highly enjoyable task to do in the autumn, and it’s probably one that you will be able to get a lot out of.

weeding in the garden

As you take those weeds out, bear in mind that for some of those plants, there are actually uses for them – and as you might not see them again for a few months, it’s a good time to make use of them. For instance, you might pick out some dandelions, which are edible in their entirety – and healthy – so keep an eye out for them as you weed.

Work On The Soil

If you are particularly interested in making your own compost, then autumn is a really important time of year. Why? One word: mulch. You need to have a lot of mulch if you want your compost to be well balanced on the pH scale, and therefore to provide your plants with much-needed sustenance. So to do that, you’ll need to make sure that you have plenty of mulching material – something which is probably easier than you think.

If you have already done the above and raked up your leaves, make sure that you keep them to one side. If you store them somewhere where they can be pressed, before long they will turn to mulch, and that is an incredibly dense, nutritious substance that you can then incorporate into your compost. So it’s definitely something you want to think about, especially if you are keen on growing healthy plants next year.

Start Planting For Winter

Although you might think of the spring as the planting season, there are plenty of plants that you can plant in winter too, and some of them are delicious or otherwise beautiful in some way, so it’s definitely something to think about. The start of autumn is when you want to start thinking about sowing radishes, rocket and even some kinds of lettuce, for instance.

shoveling garden soil

It is also around this time that you can start thinking about planting in some bulbs that you want to shoot through in the spring. That would include onions and allions of all kinds, but also pretty examples like daffodils. Make sure to do this if you are keen on having a truly beautiful garden this year.

Care For Your Tools

This is also a pretty good time to start caring for your tools, because they are something that you will need all year round, and you need to make sure that you are actively looking after them at this point. In the winter, they might well be put away for a few months, and if you are not careful they might develop rust and become quite useless. So to avoid that, you should make sure to clear them of any soil and other debris, and then store them properly.

The ideal place, of course, is a shed. Hopefully, your shed is waterproof, because if not, the rain can get in and cause those tools to become harmed in this way too. However, as long as you think about this stuff, you should still have tools at the start of spring that you can use.

tools in garden shed near window

Insulate Less Hardy Plants

You would do well to have a good sense of which of your plants are hardy and which are less so. ‘Hardy’ simply refers to a plant’s ability to withstand the cold, especially frost and ice. Of course, a lot of this will also depend on where in the world you are and what your local climate tends to be like in winter. But assuming that it does at least get a little colder, you need to make sure that your plants are up to it.

To that end, research the hardiness of each plant you have. For those which are less hardy, consider insulating them with cloth or something similar – you can probably find many such protective sheaths at your local nursery. Or alternatively, bring those plants inside if possible, or into a greenhouse.

Protecting your plants in autumn ensures you won’t get caught out, as they will be much better protected by the time winter comes around.

Tend To The Lawn

This is another of those tasks which seem to be wholly a summer thing, but which you will actually benefit from doing in the autumn as well. Ideally at the start of the season, give your lawn one more bit of care and love. You should find that this helps to keep it healthy and vibrant, and means that it will still be so by the time the spring comes around.

man fertilizing lawn by hand

In truth, all you really need to do here is to trim it and fertilize it once, and then you can leave it for a season before having to worry about it again. But if you do not do this, it could cause you trouble, so it’s something to be aware of, especially given how important the lawn is to most gardens.

Plan For Next Year

It’s never too early to plan for next year’s garden, and by the time autumn has come around, it’s definitely time to start thinking about that. You can think about how you are going to lay everything out, whether you want to make any big changes to the landscape, and so on. And this is particularly important to do if you grow crops, such as fruit and vegetables, because you have to ensure good crop rotation year after year.

That refers to moving crop types around the plot, so that the plants are healthier. It works by improving the soil quality and keeping pests from developing too much, and it’s amazing how much it works. In any case, you can start plotting this out now in autumn, ready for the spring, to make sure you have time to prepare.

And there you have it. Those are the main tasks that you may wish to try out in your garden this year. As long as you have done those, you should find that you are much more ready for your garden in winter and spring too.


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