Autumn Gardening: 10 Simple Ways to Show Your Garden Some Love
Photo: Annie Spratt on Unsplash
As the temperature begins to dip, it may be tempting to take a break from gardening chores and simply let Mother Nature take its course. But with just a little effort, you can give your garden a great jump-start on spring’s blooms.
1. Get rid of diseased leaves.
Remove any diseased leaves from flowerbeds and dispose of them in the garbage, not the compost pile. If left on the soil all winter, they will re-inoculate the plants with disease spores when spring comes around.
2. Spread the gold around.
The small leaves from trees such as honey locust, birch, beech, ginkgo and silver maple are like gold for your garden. Spread them under shrubs and over exposed soil — the leaves will degrade into mineral nutrients, and worms will turn them into fertilizer. You can also shred the leaves and store them in bags for winter mulch.
3. Scatter seeds from annuals wherever you’d like them to bloom.
You may be surprised: hardy annuals such as larkspur, poppies, cleome and cosmos often take root from seeds that are sown in the autumn and conditioned under the winter snow.
4. Replace summer annuals.
After clearing out your summer annuals, plant some icicle pansies or violas for a fresh pop of colour for your garden. They will bloom until December and then lie down for the winter. Cover them with evergreen cuttings until early spring — and presto! They’ll be ready to sprout new flower buds. (Another idea for embracing autumn: arrange containers using a variety of ornamental cabbages and kales.)
9. Harvest ripened fruits and vegetables…
… and then savour the sumptuous taste of summer all year long. Preserve the harvest of your garden with these simple ideas for preserving summer’s bounty.
10. Protect your equipment.
To maintain your garden tools, clean them thoroughly before storing for the winter. Also be sure to turn off water taps — and bring all hoses and sprinklers safely inside.