14 top tips for getting your garden ready for autumn

Getting ready for autumn, for the majority of us, means looking forward to curling up with a cosy blanket and a steaming mug of hot chocolate. But don’t head indoors until you've run through our checklist of essential garden jobs. Come spring, you’ll be glad you did.

Starting from the ground up

1. Get the mower out

Grass will grow more slowly over the winter months, but it won’t stop completely. In a rainy climate autumn often brings increased rainfall, and waterlogging will make mowing a challenge even before the winter frosts set in, so be on the lookout for a dry day to tick this one off the list.

2. Deal with worm casts

While worms themselves can actually be good for your garden the soil without you having to lift a finger - the little piles of earth they leave behind on the lawn can be a real bugbear. Chances are, you'll start to notice these reappearing from around September onwards. Left alone as the weather gets wetter, they can make a real mess of your lawn. Use a besom broom or stiff broom to clear them, and be sure to choose a dry day to avoid turning those casts into mud.

Keep it clean

3. Feed

For stronger, healthier grass come spring, now is the time to give your lawn a feed with an autumn lawn food. This will help strengthen the grass during cold and wet weather.

4. Clean up your vegetable garden

If you haven’t already, make sure any leftover crops are removed and all weeds are cleared.

5. Bring vulnerable plants indoors

If you have tender or half-hardy plants in your garden, bring them under cover now to keep them safe from frosts. If bringing plants from outside into the home, don’t forget to check the compost carefully for insects and snails first.

6. Clear debris

Whether it’s fallen fruit around a tree, or foliage from roses, now is the time to remove it. This will discourage disease and ensure that sunlight is getting through to the grass or plants below.

7. Clean your tools

It’ll keep them in good condition, and make your job easier in the new year. The same goes for sheds and greenhouses. And speaking of greenhouses, don't forget to give the glass a clean - that layer of fallen leaves could be making a real difference to the amount of sunlight reaching the plants inside.

Planning ahead gardening