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Make the most of your outdoor spaces this autumn

A garden rake propped up against a tree with autumn leaves on the ground
Autumn doesn’t have to mean spending less time in our gardens. There’s plenty of uses for your garden throughout the chillier seasons. We’ve compiled some of the best ways to prepare your outdoor space for the cooler months and some useful additions to keep it as a place you can enjoy spending time in - even when the temperature drops. 

Preparing your garden for the colder seasons

Protecting and preparing plants

If you have more tender species of plants in your garden, you will need to lift them from the soil before frost begins to threaten them. You can do this by cutting back the stems and gently lifting them out of the ground, then simply store in trays of compost away from any frost, so they’re ready to replant when spring comes around.

Tidying up the garden

Take the opportunity to remove excessive moss and thatch from the garden and add some autumn lawn feed so it is ready for the colder months ahead. Autumn is also a great time in the year to consider using up any compost you may have lying around. You can then make fresh compost by gathering all the extra falling leaves and moss that appear as we head into winter.

Have a clear out

Summer can get quite hectic in the garden. Whether it’s renovations you’ve been working on or just an assortment of activities with friends and family, your storage spaces - and the garden itself - can become easily cluttered.

Why not take the opportunity to get your tools, furniture and any other outdoor amenities in order and have a seasonal clear out? It can be a great chance to dispose of anything in your shed or other outdoor storage spaces that you’ve been hanging on to for longer than you need, and it will mean you have everything ready to go when the warmer seasons arrive again.

Covering and storing your tools and furniture

October is also a good point in the year to think about where any outdoor tools or furniture should be stored if they can’t be covered, to ensure they aren’t exposed to harsh weather. Getting covers for bigger pieces of furniture or your gas BBQ can also help save space.

Ways of making the most of your garden through autumn

Planting, pruning and harvesting

If you have a green house, you could consider planting some new veggies that will thrive throughout the colder seasons. There are a lot of vegetables that you can grow throughout autumn and winter, some of which can survive outside of a greenhouse too. Many crops can be harvested, such as parsnips, leeks and cabbages, perfect for heart-warming meals, such as soups, stews and Sunday roasts.

As we get further into autumn, it’s also the perfect time of year to start pruning  trees and bushes, particularly those that bear fruit, such as pears, blackcurrants, apples and raspberries.

Another option is to consider planting winter containers, which you can plant with evergreens and other winter foliage to  keep as much colour as possible in your garden.

Help local wildlife

If you enjoy seeing a variety of wildlife in your garden, there are ways to help animals that visit your garden when temperatures drop and food is in shorter supply.

You can help birds and squirrels by regularly refilling a feeder, as well as leaving any seeds or fallen fruit for them. If you have a bird bath, keeping it topped up will also help the birds that visit your garden to keep hydrated.

Don’t forget to keep a floating object, such as a tennis ball, in your pond so that frogs and newts can still access the water when it begins to freeze over. You can also help hedgehogs by creating a shelter for them as they start to hibernate. All you need to do is create a leaf pile and provide some water and hedgehog food to help top up their fat reserves ready for hibernation.

Outdoor features

In addition to growing more produce and helping the wildlife in your garden, there’s other ways to keep it looking lovely and ensure it’s getting used over winter.

Consider investing in an outdoor heater. It’s great for using in the evenings when you’re and sitting in the garden with a cup of tea or for when you’re dining al fresco with friends.

Garden lanterns are also increasingly popular this time of year and offer an easy and affective way to light up your garden, making it feel more inviting and cosier.

We hope these tips help you prepare your garden for the colder months ahead, and possibly inspire you to try something new.