Once the summer is over and autumn draws in, we see a big change in our garden as our plants start to die back and prepare to survive the harsh winter. It is important for us to help in this outdoor transition, and today we want to talk about how we can prepare our garden for autumn and winter starting right now.
Although many flowers will die off by the end of the summer, this doesn’t mean that our gardens have to forego colour and life. In fact, our gardens can still bloom for many weeks and there are some beautiful flowers that you can plant right now. For example, one of the flowers you can plant in the garden in autumn is Ceratostigma willmottianum, which is a small shrub with blue flowers, that in later autumn will give stunning foliage. As well as this, Japanese Anemones are a great choice for this time of year, with bright pink flowers, and lavender blue.
Eradicate Vine weevil
Pests can be a huge issue in the house and garden, and if they are not caught and dealt with soon enough they can cause serious structural harm to your home and garden. Dealing with an issue can cost a pretty penny and can even result in you filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy if the home is in ruins. Luckily, in the garden, pests are slightly easier to deal with, and Vine weevils are an easy pest to get rid of in the autumn and winter, Vine weevils are a small pest we all get in our gardens and during the summer they spend their time laying eggs in the garden. Now they will start to hatch, and the larvae of this creature feed on roots of the plants. This means that over the winter and spring your favourite plants will become weaker and weaker and may not survive. Now is the time to tackle weevils before they start eating, and you can do this using nematode controls on the plant beds.
Make bug hotels
Insects might not be the most attractive of creatures, and in some cases, they might even be seen as pests, however, they are crucial for the ecosystem of our garden and we need to protect them. You can protect insects by building small ‘hotels’ using twigs and hollow stems and filling boxes to allow insects to protect themselves over the winter. Insects such as bees and ladybirds are incredibly important to have in the garden so this is something crucial.
Get rid of mildew
A common thing you will see on both houseplants and outdoor plants is fuzzy white mildew. This fungus is a disease which can harm plants and kill them, and it is important to try and eradicate the threat. You can cut back affected roots, scoop away affected soil, and let the soil of houseplants dry out to stop fungus spreading.
Plants head into a stage of dormancy during the winter, and many plants will die back and collect nutrients ready for the spring. However, it is important for you to feed your plants now before the cold season to provide your plants with all the nutrients they could possibly need for the cold period. Spread fertiliser and use plant food spikes to make your plants stronger and allow them to survive for the winter and come back stronger in the spring and summer next year.
Let it go wild
Dead flower heads and leaves might be a little unsightly at first, however, it is important to keep them on certain plants for the winter and get rid of them in spring. The reason for this is that if you cut your deadheads off you will expose an open shoot, and if the cold gets into this shoot it can kill your plant. Some hardier species such as Buddleia can be cut back in September, but if you leave it later than this to think of pruning, you may be better to wait until spring.
Compost dead plants
If you have spent the year collecting compost in your bin, it is time to empty this out and spread it around the garden for a last-minute fertiliser. Now that there is plenty of space in your compost bin again, it is a good time to get rid of dead or dying plants. This is a good way to get rid of waste in the garden as well as start producing compost for the next season and layering this with paper and food waste will enhance the process.
During early autumn, it is the ideal time to start planting bulbs for next year. September is the ideal time to plant bulbs because it allows them to hibernate and develop over the winter and they will form into stunning plants in the spring and summer. If you don’t fancy bending over backwards to plant bulbs in the beds just yet, you can use bulb planters for now and make a change later.
Apples and pears
If you have apple or pear trees in your garden, you will likely be treated to a crop of fresh fruit for your kitchen. Be sure to make the most of your apple and pear crops and also ensure that you store them in a dry area so that they stay fresh for longer.