Protect your Plants
As the weather cools down, it is important to keep your plants and trees insulated with bark or mulch. Place mulches around vulnerable plants to protect them from the cold, suppress weeds, aid with water drainage, and improve the soil by adding nutrients as the mulch breaks down.
There are various types of mulch to choose from. From beautiful decorative barks to cheaper wood chippings, to leaf mulch from your own garden (raked from your lawn) – there is an option for every taste and budget. All of which will serve the same purpose – protecting and breaking down to provide nutrients – the only difference being the length of time they take to break down.
You can still grow veg throughout autumn and winter. Remember to dig over beds, adding high quality soil and/or organic matter as necessary. Excellent vegetables to plant in autumn include: oriental salad leaves such as Mizuna or Japanese Mustard, Kabu or Japanese Turnip, hardy lettuces, broad beans, potatoes, chard or flat leaved parsley.
Winter flowering plants provide two great benefits: they add a splash of colour to what could otherwise be a relatively bare landscape, and they benefit pollinators that, increasingly, have been found foraging throughout the winter months. Fantastic winter flowering plants include:
- Winter clematis
- Winter honeysuckle
- Winter heather
For more information on each of these plants have a look at this Gardeners’ World article.
Did you know that the cooler months are actually an excellent time to lay turf? We cut turf all year round and we always say, if you can prepare the ground, you can lay turf. If it is especially cold, the turf will go into a dormant state and will not root until the weather warms up. Simply leave your turf without mowing, watering (moisture in the frost should be enough to keep it watered) or walking on it until warmer weather. As soon as the weather warms up, the turf will start growing again and will quickly establish as thick, green lawn.
Remember you can prevent both excess and lack of water by spreading ZEBA moisture retaining granules on the ground before laying the turf. These biodegradable granules will last a year while the turf is establishing, before naturally breaking down and adding nutrients to the soil.
Read our advice on laying turf in cold weather for more help.
Autumn lawn care should have been completed by now, though, thanks to the warmer weather we’ve been having, it should still be OK to fertilise and harden up for winter with our Green and Black Fertiliser.
The most important thing is to rake away any leaf fall from your lawn or low growing perennials in order to protect them from disease. This leaf fall can then be placed in other parts of your garden and used as a leaf mulch.
You can continue mowing to keep your lawn tidy as long as the grass is not damp or frosty.
Read more on November Lawn Care here.
Build a Bug Hotel
As well as using your leaf mulch as compost, a great idea is to pile it up for wildlife to use as a source of winter food and shelter. If you’d like to get creative with your biodegradable garden waste, why not build a bug hotel? Easy to create and excellent for pollinators and other wildlife, these are good fun to create with family. Read more about bug hotels.