Get your garden ready this autumn

10 October 2018

someone in red wellington boots pushing a pitchfork into the ground

Most of us get our garden ready this autumn by giving the lawn a final mow then leaving the plants to fend for themselves, with fingers crossed that they will survive the winter months. But a little bit of preparation during October and November can help your garden look its best for when spring arrives.

Around now gardens are starting to look tired and in need of some attention. If you’ve recently moved into a new build home the garden is often near the bottom of your ‘to-do’ list, and before you know it a year has passed and nothing has been done to it.

NHBC, the UK’s leading warranty provider for new homes, is offering all home owners some tips to get your garden ready this autumn:

  1. Lawn care

Now is the time to renovate and repair your lawn following our record-breaking summer; but wait until you’ve had some decent rain and the grass is actively growing again. Aerate your lawn by spiking it with a garden fork, spacing holes 10-15cm apart, helping reduce the chances of waterlogging over the winter. Finish off with some autumn lawn feed to promote healthy root growth.

  1. Trees and shrubs

October is an ideal time for moving and planting trees, shrubs and climbers, as well as for hedge planting. Shrubs planted now will get off to a flying start next spring, having had all winter to settle in. But be aware; always obtain advice from an expert before planting or removing trees and shrubs so not to cause damage to existing foundations.

  1. Tidying up

Your annuals and perennials will need some attention this month too. Dig up your annual plants, remove any dead and yellowing leaves from your perennials and cut back summer growth if necessary. Tidying up your plants will prevent them from decaying as the temperatures drop.

  1. Spring flowering bulbs

It’s also a good time to think about planting spring flowering bulbs. October is the best time for planting daffodils, whereas November is ideal for tulips. Always choose big, firm bulbs that are free from signs of mould, and plant them in holes three to four times as deep as the bulb itself.

  1. Clean out your gutters

While you are out in your garden take a moment to check your gutters. Keeping them free of leaves and debris throughout autumn and winter will avoid potential problems. If you notice wet patches on the walls below, this may indicate that your gutters or downpipes are blocked.

  1. And finally…

Now that you’ve put your garden to bed until springtime, your thoughts can turn to helping the local wildlife make it through the colder months. Perhaps put some bird feeders up around the garden filled with nuts and seeds, and have a fresh supply of water available for any winter visitors.

Further advice for home owners on garden and property maintenance can be found in NHBC’s useful publication, A Guide to your new home – a practical guide to looking after your new home, freely available at NHBC - Homeowners.