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As I am sure you have noticed, summer is now over and now is the perfect time to prep your garden ready for winter. There are many different things you can do to make sure your garden is ready for cold temperatures and frosty weather but here are a few to get your started:
Tidy your Borders
An important chore to add to your list is to tidy up your garden borders. This is where most of your plants and flowers are so it is important to make sure it will be ready to thrive again in spring. Dig up your annual plants which will not flower again (if you have a compost heap, you can add them to it). This is also a great opportunity to rearrange anything you are not happy with. You can move any poorly placed plants and also divide anything up which has overgrown whilst the soil is still warm enough to manipulate.
Another big task is to cut back perennials. Sometimes it is easy to be tempted to cut them back completely, leaving nothing during the autumn and winter, but it is good to leave some of them alone. Some perennials can look lovely in the autumn and do not need to be cut back as much. Also, they can provide shelter for any wildlife in your garden during cold weather.
When everything has been tidied, spread compost all over the borders to improve the soil and reduce the effect of frost on plant roots. You can leave it without digging it in as insects will break it down for you.
Maintain your Lawn
Autumn is a perfect time to refresh your lawn if it is looking a bit rough. First, you need to rake up all the bits leftover on the lawn such as grass clippings, moss and weeds which can be added to your compost heap. If the soil has become too compacted in some more worn areas, this can be bad for drainage and cause floods. To combat this, poke some large holes in the ground using a garden fork, you can brush some sand into the holes to fill them in. If necessary, you can lay new turf in patchy areas.
Cover Ponds with a Pond Net
In the later seasons, decomposing leaves can block any pumps or filters and make your water turn bad. You can save having to replace your pond pump by covering your pond with a net. To catch smaller leaves, you will need a fine mesh on the net. It is easily put on the pond by spreading it across and pinning it down with bricks or large rocks. Again, any leaves that you collect can be added to a compost heap!
Lift Summer Bulbs
If you have any tender summer bulbs in your garden beds such as Begonias, Cannas and Dahlias, they will need to be lifted to avoid being destroyed by the frost. To do this, dig the bulbs up and remove any loose soil or dead leaves. Most bulbs need to be stored dry so leave them to dry overnight. To store them, put them in a paper bag somewhere where the cold and frost cannot get to them (a shed or greenhouse would be perfect). You can them come back to them in the spring and replant them!
Think about what plants you want in your garden in the future. Where can they be places, what will they go with and when will they flower? You could plant some lovely winter plants such as Violas, Primulas and Daisies which will keep your garden looking lively even in the cold. Looking even further into the future you could add to your garden with some new plants which may look better or add to what you already have when they come out next year.