The leaves are beginning to fall and the days are getting shorter – but there’s still plenty to be done in the garden!
Autumn gardening is often the best way to prepare your garden so that it blooms bigger and better next year.
Derby city residents, remember your brown bin is collected by Derby City Council for free all year round so you can carry on gardening!
- Compost – don’t burn. At this time of year, many people have bonfires with garden waste. There are better things to do that have much less impact on our environment. Bonfires reduce the quality of the air and can become a nuisance to neighbouring properties. Instead, you can compost your waste at home or by putting it in your brown bin. If you don’t have a brown bin, you can register for the free scheme online.
- This is your last chance to trim hedges and mow lawns. The final trim of the year needs to happen before it gets too cold and should keep everything looking neat and tidy over the winter. Again, hedge trimmings and lawn cuttings can be composted or placed in your brown bin.
- It’s raining…leaves! It’s the surest sign that winter is on its way. Keeping paths and patios free of leaves will reduce the risk of slips and trips – especially with all the autumn rain. Leaves can also harm your lawn by blocking out the light and preventing air reaching the grass. Get them raked up or use a leaf blower. Mulched down leaves make a great, fertilising additive to flower beds too. Leaf mould contains lots of calcium and magnesium which is important for plant growth and can help retain moisture.
- Prune those perennials. Perennial shrubs can be cut back to help them bounce back in the spring.
- Harvest time – If you’ve got fruit or nut trees in your garden, now is the time to get harvesting. Love Food Hate Waste has some great recipes for using what you’ve grown. Here’s a great one that uses apples and hazelnuts. Any fruits that have fallen and can’t be eaten can be popped in your compost or brown bin.
- Prepare for spring. Autumn seems like the wrong time of year to be planting but there is plenty to be done. Spring flowering plants, bulbs (like daffodils, hyacinths) and even cabbages can be planted and sown in the autumn.
- Check for disease. Slugs and snails are active all year round and particularly enjoy munching on decaying leaves and plants. They’re great for your compost bin but not your seedlings. Other diseases such as stem and bulb eelworm could harm summer chrysanthemum displays. The RHS website has extensive advice on all kinds of garden diseases and how to treat them.