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Your Autumn Garden

Written by thebarnadmin

Autumn in the Garden

Autumn is nature’s own planting time. Branches and hedgerows weighed down with seeds, fruits and berries are synonymous with the change of season as days shorten and temperatures begin to cool. Even though it feels like we have been in autumn for a few weeks already thanks to the cold and wet summer this year, our gardens and nature around us will still start their annual slow down. The seeds, berries and fruits will swell and set. The leaves will begin to change colour before falling to the ground leaving their trees bare over winter.


Following natures lead, autumn is the perfect time to plant new trees and shrubs. The soil is soft and damp enough for roots to begin to establish before the cold arrives. When you think of autumn trees and shrubs, you might think of Pyracantha, Cotoneaster and Rowan for their colourful berries or Crab Apple for their fruit. Berberis and Cotinus Coggygria for colourful interesting foliage. Autumn however is the perfect time to plant any tree or shrub, not just the ones looking their best right now.


Now is the time to buy and plant your spring flowering bulbs. Think daffodils, narcissus, crocus, hyacinths, tulips, snowdrops, fritillaries. Plant them straight in the ground or in pots for a fantastic display to grow and bloom next spring. If you are a little less patient and cannot wait until spring for some colour, hardier autumn plants such as asters, violas, cyclamen and chrysanthemums can replace tired summer bedding plants in hanging baskets or containers for instant colour that will last through until spring.


Your houseplants inside need slightly different care at this time of year too. Despite most of them originating from much warmer climates than our own, as the hours of light and temperature decreases even inside our homes, houseplants have a dormant period too. They will not need watering as frequently. Moving them nearer to a window means they can make the most of the available sunlight. Make sure they are not in a draught or too close to a heat source such as a radiator. Stop feeding them over this dormant period and remember to keep their leaves dust free.


Jobs that can be done in the garden before winter whilst the weather is still warm enough include removing drying leaves or collapsed stems from herbaceous perennials, either by gently pulling them out or cutting them at the base with secateurs. Give your lawn a little TLC. Autumn lawn care includes scarifying it with a spring tine rake to remove thatch and moss. Trust the process. It can look terrible at first, but removing this helps water and nutrients to reach the roots. Aerate your lawn using a garden fork to reduce compaction of the soil and again to help the roots. Finally, apply an autumn lawn feed.


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