Believe it or not, autumn is the beginning of the gardening year. Here is our suggested list of landscaping jobs to do in autumn.
Autumn is the time of year when Mother Nature starts the composting process and sets seeds ready for next summer. And so, as gardeners, a mild November is the ideal time to do some landscaping jobs that will come to fruition next year.
- Clear fallen leaves and compost them
- Install lighting
- Prune trees and shrubs
- Have a general tidy up
- Review the year just gone
- Plan next year’s garden displays
- Book a landscaper for any major changes
Leaf clearing isn’t all bad!
Clearing and Composting
The more time you spend in a garden, the more you become aware of the cycle of life. Seasons change and so does the way your garden looks. But Mother Nature does everything for a reason – she’s a brilliant planner and project manager. And if you understand what Nature is intending, you can work with her to create a better garden.
Take autumn leaves for example. From our point of view, they’re a slippery, messy nuisance that need. But, Mother Nature is actually recycling. Leaves fall to make the tree canopy weigh less. With no leaves to collect snow or catch the wind, a tree is less likely to be damaged by winter weather. Rather than let them go to waste, Mother Nature employs hoards of mini beasts and microbes to recycle all of the vegetation that took so long to grow. They slowly break the leaves down into the chemical constituents which are ….. wait for it…. Plant food.
Fallen leaves are meant to nourish the soil and help grow future generations of plants. But I agree. They are messy, they kill the lawn and they can stain paths and patios too.
So first on the list of landscaping jobs to do in November, is to keep clearing those fallen leaves from paths, patios and lawns. If you have a good leaf blower, it won’t take you long to move them into one pile. But please don’t despatch them to the bin. Gather them up, put them out of sight and let Mother Nature turn them into valuable compost that you can use in the garden.
Leaf mould takes a couple of years to mature but it’s worth the wait. Use it for mulching around plants to suppress weed growth and improve moisture retention. Dig it into your allotment patch to help you grow delicious fruit and veg. Or mix it with sieved topsoil to make compost for seeds and pot plants.
Carefully placed garden lighting will help you to enjoy your garden all through the winter. Even if it’s too cold to spend a lot of time outside, the sheer joy of seeing favourite garden features illuminated can really lift your spirits.
There’s a safety aspect to garden lighting too. Being able to see steps, doorways and other potential hazards clearly can help you to avoid trips and slips. Especially when on foggy days or those cloudy nights where there’s absolutely no moonlight to guide you.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s worth speaking to your landscaper about a proper lighting plan. One that will bring you joy in winter, help you feel safer, and extend the time you spend outdoors in spring, summer and autumn.
Pruning Trees and Shrubs
Autumn is a good time to re-shape shrubs and small trees. As a rule of thumb though, if you need a ladder to reach tree branches, the job is best tackled by an arborist.
For deciduous shrubs and trees, in other words, ones that lose their leaves in winter, wait until the branches are bare. You’ll find it easier to see what you’re doing and there’ll be less waste to take away.
Start by removing any material that is dead or diseased. Then, take a step back and see if the plant needs shaping or thinning.
There’s a special way to prune roses, click here to learn more from the Rose Growers at Peter Beale nursery in Norfolk.
For fruit trees, Chris Bowers has written the ultimate guide to fruit tree pruning.
Review The Last Year In Your Garden
On wet days, when you don’t feel like gardening outside, you can still plan what your garden will look like next year. It’s one of my favourite landscaping jobs to do in autumn.
Start by reviewing the last year (or two years). What worked well? What did you like about your garden? Is there anything you would want to be doing more often? Outdoor cooking for example.
Did your garden let you down at all last year? Was it too hot to use at times? Does it feel overlooked and did that put you off spending time outdoors? Is the planting boring? Are there parts of your garden that worry you? Perhaps you’re concerned about letting the grandchildren play near your pond? Or maybe the patio is uneven and you’re scared of tripping over?
How will you highlight the good bits of your garden and solve any problems so that you can make better use of the space next year.
Planning Ahead For Next Year
Your garden has the potential to provide you with all manner of services. Fresh fruit and veg, an escape zone for stressful times, space for entertaining, storage and maybe even somewhere to exercise. Gardens contribute massively towards our wellbeing and a garden makeover project could be just what you need to help you feel great next year.
If you want to make changes in your garden, but don’t know where to start, chat to your landscaper and ask for suggestions. If needs be, they can put you in touch with a garden designer who can help you to decide how best to allocate your build budget. A garden design focusses on which features you need, where to place them and how to style your landscaped garden.
Booking Your Landscaper Early
Whenever you need help with landscaping jobs such as making paths and patios, turfing, building outdoor kitchens or putting up pergolas, please be sure to book your landscaper as early as possible. It’s not unusual for the best landscapers to have a waiting lists so if you leave things to the last minute, you might not get the work done in time for next spring.
Living near Guildford? Contact Manor Landscapes to be sure of a job well done.
Check out these garden makeover ideas. https://manorlandscapes.com/garden-makeover-ideas/