In autumn, plan ahead and make the necessary preparations in your garden to give a big boost to the start of the next spring season.

Autumn is the time to tidy up the beds, treat and improve the soil, and take care of the lawn. With all this, you can greatly reduce the chance of possible issues in the coming growing season. Now is the time to plant the bulbs of bulbous plants that bloom in the spring, and to pull out withered annual plants.

Autumn cleaning is one of those garden maintenance tasks, thanks to which you can guarantee yourself an attractive-looking and abundantly productive garden in the new season. So here are some important fall gardening tips so that you can spend the winter months carefree and have more free time in the spring.

Autumn maintenance in the garden

By preparing for winter, you can greatly improve the overall appearance of your garden, as well as ensure that your delicate and sensitive plants receive all the loving care they need to protect them from the cold winter weather.

Plant new plants

Take advantage of the sunny autumn days to plant the bulbs of spring-blooming bulbous plants, and to fill unsightly empty spots in the garden with cold-tolerant plants; with this you can add color to the garden at the end of the season. Here are some tips on which plants can help make the autumn garden colorful:

  • pansy
  • cyclamen
  • aster
  • cabbage
  • chrysanthemum

After you have completed autumn garden maintenance work, you can plant new shrubs and tree seedlings. The weather is ideal so that the newly planted bushes and trees get a sufficient amount of moisture and, when they go into a dormant state, the shock effect on them due to (trans)planting is reduced to a minimum.

Many hobby gardeners view autumn as the end of active gardening. However – and this may come as a surprise to some – you can grow many cold-tolerant, hardy plants until the first frost. You can therefore extend the harvest season if you cover the rows of beds, spread mulch or set up cold beds. First of all, get late varieties of vegetables; most cabbages are like this. You can plant cabbage or broccoli, for example. Be aware that some crops need to be protected with a cover if snow or lasting frost is expected.

Remove withered and dead plants

At the end of the season, clean your garden of the remains of harvested vegetables and other crops and ornamental plants, as well as of various weeds. Prepare the garden pond and fountain for winter, and don’t forget about the surface treatment of your outdoor furniture.

If you rake the fallen leaves onto the lawn, then chop them up with a lawnmower with a collection basket, you can get nitrogen- and organic matter-rich chips, which are excellent for mulching vegetable beds. This will increase the spring productivity of the soil and also prevent weeds from sprouting. This is also the time to get rid of overgrown plants in the garden, such as morning glory.

Prepare your garden for winter sleep

Dig up the bulbs and tubers of frost-sensitive plants, pick them up from the ground, and overwinter them indoors in a protected, frost-free place.

By collecting and raking plant debris and remains in the garden, you can significantly reduce the amount of overwintering pests and pathogens, as well as weed seeds. Empty the composting bin and start filling it again. Spread mature compost around the base of sensitive plants that benefit from an extra layer of mulch. In the winter months, you can grow green manure cover crops (in the legume or mustard family) in the vegetable beds.