5 Ways to Prepare Your Garden for Autumn
Autumn is the perfect time to prepare you garden for next Spring. By preparing, restoring and revitalizing your garden now you can indulge in wonderful results later. Its not as hard as it seems, especially if you have a plan and some great Autumn garden tips.
Here are five Autumn Garden Tips to prepare your garden in the fall:
First Autumn Garden Tip…Procrastinate!
It may sound counter intuitive but you should wait a while. Procrastinating allows your garden to rest and can be beneficial for your garden. It helps to rejuvenate and protect the soil.
If leaves fall or plants die, instead of cleaning up, leave the debris. This helps the soil to soak any valuable nutrients, and is a great foundation for new plants to grow.
You could go all out and make your own vegetable compost such as cabbage, kale or cauliflower, created in a compost. More on that below.
Check Your Irrigation or Watering System
The second Autumn gardening tip is to protect your watering system. Watering systems can easily get damaged when harsh winter conditions kick in.
As leaves and the temperature drops, it’s time to shut down your lawn irrigation systems. Sprinkler pipes and other components are at risk of freezing and breaking during autumn and winter.
The first wave of damage often occurs to exposed pipes and sprinkler equipment. Extended damage continues with freezing temperatures and wind chill conditions, freezing soil at the same depth as your pipes.
First, shut off the water supply to the lawn irrigation systems, well before the thermometer hits freezing. Wrap you shut-off valve for your sprinkler system with insulation; packed pine straw works well in sub-zero temperatures.
Above ground piping must also be insulated. Foam insulating tubes or self-sticking foam-insulating tape from home supply stores work well.
Next, turn off the timer or any controls to your automatic irrigation system. Use the ‘rain mode’ if you have one to avoid reprogramming your unit. If you don’t have a rain mode simply shut off the power to the controller or unplug the system and reprogram again in Spring.
If you live in a temperate area it is not necessary to remove all the water from the underground pipes. But it is precaution to remove at least some of the water from the pipes, so that they won’t freeze and break.
Feed Your Soil
The quality of the garden‘s soil is essential for your plant’s growth. You can boost the soil by leaving debris to turn into mulch. This third Autumn garden tip is crucial for the health of your soil.
Good garden mulch reduces soil erosion, and helps aeration so it doesn’t become compact. It helps weed control, regulates soil temperature, reduces soil drying out and improve its texture, quality and improves fertility.
This is never a one-time event, so if you are adding mulch to an existing layer, remember to loosen the layers with a garden fork to rough up any compacted mulch.
Did you know that some mulch brands can contain weed seeds? It’s best to buy reputable brands and avoid mulching with hay, unless it is thoroughly composted. These seeds could sprout and give you a serious weed problem.
Azaleas, roses, rhododendrons and hydrangeas love low-nutrient mulch. Lilies, dahlias, spring bulbs like tulips and daffodils all do better with this type of mulching also.
Choose a store bought mulch to your liking and work it into the ground using a spading fork. Don’t forget to cover all the areas where plants have a hard time growing. Make sure you till the soil while it is still warm. By doing so, the soil will benefit from the oxygen and become richer and healthy.
Design Your Spring Garden
Autumn is the best time for planting various flowers, trees, and shrubs. Its a good time to plant flowers like spring bulbs or narcissus for the next season, but if you want a garden design overhaul, autumn is the perfect time to get professional assistance from landscape designers to really create the garden of your dreams.
There are many materials you can use to break up lawn, especially if you have problems maintaining a uniform green lawn. Hedging, gravel and paving can help you design an interesting garden.
A good landscape design will create a garden that suits your soil, your home, lifestyle and your budget.
Autumn is for Container Plants
Autumn is the perfect time to place all perennial container plants into the garden. Many people plant their container plants; container included. This is great to protect your plant roots from frost. Make sure the roots are protected with ample soil, so when the roots don’t sit in water and rot as the weather warms. There are plant covers to protect the plant above the ground.
If you live in a colder climate its best to select frost safe containers like stone, wood and cement.
If you need to move your planters around consider wheels and think twice before buying a large concrete urn.
Tropical palms, banana tress, citrus or plumeria are best kept indoors. The low temperature during the winter can have a harmful effect on them. The best thing to do is to make enough room for the container plants.
Planting Your Dream Garden
Planning and preparing your garden in Autumn for the next season is a great investment in time and energy. Everything from checking garden equipment, regulating your soil to planting shrubs and trees will require some thought as well as time and elbow grease. But wait until you see the results next Spring!