Now that the clocks have gone back, nights are longer and days are shorter. This means that there’s less daylight for you to take care of the garden properly. Here’s a quick reminder of the essential jobs that you should do during this month before the temperature drops even lower!
During late Autumn, we all know that the leaves begin to leave a lovely trail of orange, brown and red shades along the footpaths and gardens. For some, this can look unattractive and make their outdoor space feel untidy. There’s a simple and quick solution to this! Simply use a rake and gather all of the leaves into a pile.
Now the common question asked is ‘what do I do with the leaves?’ Well, there are many different ways in which you can use these fallen leaves. Why not make the holidays and weekends exciting with your children by using these leaves to create beautiful Autumn/Winter collages. Stick a variety of leaves on a sheet of paper or create handmade cards and photos! This way you can use nature and have fun at the same time. Or, why not use the leaves to create your very own garden mulch?
Mulching is generally used to improve the soil for plants, mulching can also help retain moisture and heat in the soil this creates a perfect environment for your plants to grow. In Winter mulch is especially advantageous as it can help protect your plants and its roots from harsh weather conditions and frosts. You can be as creative as you like when mulching, many mulches give a decorative finish that will complement your overall garden design.
Mulching should be carried out from late summer and throughout Autumn. You should look to spread a generous ring of mulch around newly planted trees, shrubs and plants in your garden. In early Winter your thick layer of much will have many benefits especially for delicate, vulnerable plants. The mulch will also help protect roots and plants from the frost and any potential wet weather. Our
- First you should check to make sure your ground is free from weeds and the soil is moist. If necessary you should add water to the soil as it may prove difficult once you have mulched.
- To be effective biodegradable mulch needs to be laid around 5cm and ideally 8cm thick.
- Begin to lay the mulch over your moist soil and around plants, leaving a little gap around the stems of the plants. Make sure you include the roots of any plants.
- You should then rake the mulch to ensure it is level.
- Before applying the mulch you can add a fertiliser to the soil. This will ensure biodegradable mulches do not steal all the nitrogen from the soil
- Make sure to provide your plants with additional water. Once you have mulched it is much harder to reach the roots of your plants.
- Do not remove mulches when it comes to fertilising, you are able to spread your fertiliser over the mulch these are then washed down to plants roots.
- You should only reapply the mulch when you see a spot that requires it. Be careful not to apply too much mulch as this will make it hard for you to water plants
- Ensure that your mulch does not have contact with the stems of any trees as this can cause the stems to soften leaving it vulnerable for disease.
Bird Seed & Water
At this time of year, put out food and water on a regular basis and in really severe weather during the Winter, feed twice daily if you can: in the morning and in the early afternoon.
Birds require high-energy (high-fat) foods during the cold winter weather to maintain their fat reserves to survive the frosty nights. Use only good-quality food and scraps with high energy content such as black oil sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, suet pellets, mealworms and fruit such as raisins. This type of seed mix is particularly important through the Autumn and Winter months as birds are needing to first recover their energy from the breeding season and then begin storing for Winter.
Always adjust the quantity given to the demand, and never allow uneaten foods to accumulate around the feeders so be sure to clear bird feeders and water bowls regularly. Once you establish a feeding routine, try not to change it as the birds will become used to it and time their visits to your garden like clockwork.
Preparing Soil & Lawns
Come Autumn lawns tend to look a little tired, pale and worn out as it has used up most of the nutrients in the soil through the Summer, as well as suffering wear and tear from children playing in the garden or by the Summer weather. Showing a little love and care to your garden now will ensure the lawn and soil remains strong through Winter and will ensure a lovely lush garden come Spring.
Begin by clearing any leaves from the soil and lawn and give it one last cut, weather permitting, with high blades to trip the tops. Next, spike and aerate soil and lawns to increase drainage and to allow air to the roots. Follow this up by working a compost into the soil and Autumn lawn food to strengthen roots and kills moss. Treat any bar patches caused by Summer weather with specialised compost, seed and fertiliser. Be careful not to over seed however as this can cause weak growth.
If you’re looking for some garden inspiration check out our pinboard. We love receiving customer photos, so if you have recently updated your garden with the help of Gravel Master, then send your images to firstname.lastname@example.org. Call us today on 0330 058 5068 with any queries!