Autumn gardening jobs: Key jobs for a ‘healthy’ garden

Monty Don shares tips for planting garlic in the Autumn

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Chris Bonnett is the founder and CEO of Gardening Express.

We’ve had quite a summer this year and there’s no doubt we’ve all spent a lot of time outdoors. Unfortunately, now that summer is over, I tend to see a lot of people neglecting their garden when actually they should be prepping it for Autumn and helping it recover from the summer, especially after the temperatures we’ve seen this year.

Maintaining a healthy garden through the colder months is actually what will help it thrive when next spring comes around. Everything is key preparation for next year.

If you haven’t already, I’d encourage people to breathe some life back into their lawn before it stops growing for winter. Now is when you can squeeze in that final round of fertilising for the year. Mow your lawn and evenly distribute your fertiliser but be careful if you have pets or children.

If your lawn is severely damaged and dry from the hot weather then you should avoid fertilising it at all costs.

Fertilisers indicate to roots that they need to work harder and this can strain your lawn if it’s not recovered and can damage it further. Instead, just focus on watering it little and often. By November it may start to look better and you can apply some fertiliser then.

Now is also a good time to get rid of your compost bins. By laying down compost now, you’ll notice that by spring, it will have broken down and will integrate with the rest of your soil.

It’ll be feeding it with nutrients so that by the time planting season comes again you’ll already have rich soil.

Preparing for the first frost is important too and it’s never too early. Be sure to keep an eye on the weather in the coming months and start to think about how you’re going to protect your plants.

You can move containers inside or into a greenhouse but you’ll need something else for your beds.

You could cover them with a layer of mulch for extra warmth or consider purchasing a fleece if you haven’t already got one.

If you don’t fancy spending money on a garden fleece, a bed sheet or comforter will do the trick.

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With larger rats expected this year you’ll also want to ensure you have a clean and tidy garden – this means no large compost heaps or piles of leaves.

Rats look for warm places like this to set up their new home.

By taking these steps now you’ll be able to keep your garden healthy throughout autumn and winter meaning when the days start getting longer again, you’ll have cut your work in half.

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