Autumn is the ideal time to give your garden a general clean-up. A time to remove dead vegetation, rake leaves, tidy the tool shed, clean the greenhouse and winterise sensitive plants. It may seem like a lot, but remember that the few hours you spend cleaning in the fall will give you a head start when spring arrives. Plus, these 4 additional tips will be very helpful:
Wash your greenhouse windows
Do your greenhouse windows look like they’re turning grey, too? Then it’s the best time to clean them. Not only will the greenhouse shine clean again, but the plants inside will also benefit. As it gets darker sooner, they lose light and grey panes don’t add any. In winter, on the other hand, clean glass lets in more sunlight and the indoor temperature rises, saving you money on heating costs. What’s more, it’s easy to clean, you only need:
- A bucket and sponge
- Hot water
- Dish detergent
Create a leaf bin
Have a lot of leaves in your garden? Don’t throw them in the organic bin, but use them as fertilizer for your flower beds. Choose a sheltered spot in your garden that won’t spoil the view and use wire mesh and wooden stakes to create a large bin. Fill it with leaves, sprinkle it with water and leave it to smoulder. Once the leaves start to crumble, use them as mulch for the beds. Generally, leaves take about two years to decompose, with oak, alder, beech and hornbeam leaves doing it fastest.
Build your compost
If you don’t already have a compost heap, it’s definitely worth starting one. You’ll accumulate a lot of plant material during your autumn clean-up, and if you let it sit for a year or two, it will serve as the perfect natural fertiliser for your garden. If you already have compost, but it’s not quite ready to use, use a fork to toss it around to speed up the decomposition process.
Maintain your garden equipment
Before you put your mower in the shed for the winter, send it to a garage for a service. This will make sure it’s in perfect condition when you need it next spring. Also, remember to sharpen the secateurs and clean all gardening tools of dried soil. If you wash the tools, dry everything thoroughly and oil the metal parts to prevent rust.