We may have had an incredible summer, basking in the heatwave, but such hot weather can certainly take its toll on the garden, especially the lawn!

Now, with the nights starting to draw in, it is time to look ahead to winter and prepare your garden for another testing season. Here are a few tips:

1. Clean up and deadhead

Disease, pests and fungi can lurk in old plants, so it is important to clear them away from the soil surface, especially dead perennials. If disease free, you can also bury your dead plants as this adds organic matter to the soil. You should also be deadheading and pruning.
Black spot on your roses should also be dealt with as the spores can survive the winter. Infected leaves should be cleared from the soil and ideally binned or burned.

2. Prepare your garden

It’s time to grab a spade and tend to your soil’s health by digging in nutrients such as manure, compost or bone meal to give your soil a head start for next year. Tilling also helps to improve drainage. Plastic sheeting can be placed over the soil to prevent the goodness being washed away in the rain, and this is especially helpful on raised beds.

It is also a good time to net your pond before the leaves start to fall.
Your greenhouse should now be given a good clean and disinfected, inside and out, to help reduce overwintering pests and diseases. You can also wash out pots and seed trays ready for the spring sowing season.

It’s a good time to get the lawn mower serviced and clean, sharpen or oil your tools. Spades, forks and other tools will benefit from a good wash too.

3. Tackle weeds

Now is the time to get rid of the weeds that are making a move on your beautiful borders, especially if you have spotted invasive varieties, such as bindweed. This is especially important if you have a vegetable patch. However, be aware that some weeds will equally enjoy taking over your compost pile, so the green bin or a bonfire may be the best way to deal with them.

4. Lovely lawns

Most lawns took a real battering during the summer and are now just starting to recover. Rake out old grass clippings and moss and improve drainage and aeration by making deep holes with your garden fork prongs, every 10cm. A sandy top dressing can be applied, along with lawn feed, to give it an extra boost. Autumn is also an ideal time to lay new turf.

5. Get planting

Winter bedding plants can now be brought into your garden to add a dash of colour, especially pansies and wallflowers. And as the weather turns colder, you can put a smile on your face by looking ahead to next spring and planting spring flowering bulbs that will bring plenty of cheerful colour to your outside space.

Find out more by visiting the Thompson Morgan website.