The autumn clear-up begins as cool nights and more rain encourage the dying back of summer flowers and the leaves of trees begin to display their brilliant final colours before leaf-fall. There are new seeds, sets and plants to position in the vegetable garden, and more bulbs and bedding to plant in your flower borders. This can be one of the busiest times of the year for gardeners, but very rewarding
After removing your summer bedding from your border, knock off all soil from the roots and put to one side. Now is a good time to take home-made compost from your domestic heap and incorporate this into the soil to improve the structure, the drainage and the organic body. The most decomposed vegetable waste will be found in the lower layers of your compost heap as this is the area that has experienced the maximum effect of bacteria and micro-organisms that create heat and encourage the breakdown of the plant leaves, stems and vegetable peelings.
Professional greenkeepers use this time of the year to overseed their turf areas to ensure that lawns go into the winter with a full covering of grass plants. Autumn is a great time to sow grass seed as long as you choose the right mixture and prepare the area in advance. You can use this time to sow a new lawn or renovate an old one.
Small shrubs such as hebe, skimmia and euonymus will provide a central point of interest or you can provide bright red foliage using Leucothoe ‘Scarletta’ or evergreen Coprosma ‘Fireburst’. Some people prefer the bright red berries of Christmas Cherry (Solanum) surrounded by winter-flowering heathers, pansies or even ornamental cabbage or kale to provide foliage interest. Many heucheras will also give fascinating leaf colours and markings to brighten your container.