Getting your Garden Ready for Autumn

We can squeeze the last few hours of enjoyment out of our gardens in autumn until they’re closed down over winter and reopen again in spring.

But to do this, we need to prepare them. Wind, rain, and cold temperatures can all batter our garden, leaving us with a lot of work in the new year. Luckily, there are a few tips which mean we can keep everything in good order ready to see us through winter.

Act now before the weather really takes a turn for the worst. Here is what to do in your garden before and during the autumn and winter months.

You will need:

Always wear PPE when carrying out DIY or gardening jobs. Gloves, eye protection and boots are always recommended when using the tools mentioned below, and warm, waterproof clothing will be needed when carrying out jobs over the colder months.


  1. Prioritise security

Not the most glamorous start to our list, but it's an essential one. With darker nights come more security risks, as people can go about undetected. A broken fence panel or gate, or sensor lighting needing a new battery, could give access to uninvited guests.

Check over your fence and replace any panels which are beyond repair. For those which can be repaired, use a nail gun to quickly fix and replace fence boards.

You don’t want to be doing this when the really bad weather hits, so do it while we still have some daylight in the evenings. You should then check them again after a particularly bad storm throughout winter.

Don’t stop at fencing to make repairs, either. You may also need to fix your shed if you store tools in there, as well as your greenhouse, water butt (to make the most of natural resources) or raised beds.


  1. Add some lighting

We can still make the most of our outdoor space in autumn, in between the showers. But seeing as we only have an hour or two of light in the evenings after work, you need some artificial help.

Some festoon lighting will look pretty and will also be practical as it won’t take up floor space which can be precious on a patio. Candles on tables can also add a feeling of warmth.


  1. Keep on top of fallen leaves

Slippery paths. Blocked guttering and drains. Damaged plants and smothered lawns. Wet leaves can really cause issues in our gardens.

To make things easier, you need to clear them away before they actually get wet. Use a leaf blower to get them all into one pile, which is much easier than using a brush. Then, collect them all and add them to a compost bin or compost heaps to make leaf mould.

  • SPEEDY TOP TIP: Do you have wildlife, such as hedgehogs, in your garden? They may use fallen leaves as nesting or shelter, so create a pile of leaves in your garden away from used areas instead.

If you have leaves all over your lawn, use a lawn mower to collect them all instead. Set the blade really high so it doesn’t damage the grass, and instead just collects the leaves and mulches or shreds them.


  1. Use heating

Talking of warmth, if you want to make the most of a night without rain and wind during the colder months, you may need some artificial heating too.

Gas or parasol heaters are the best options for outside, as there are no wires and electrics, yet they give out really powerful targeted heat when the temperature drops.


  1. Cover plants

First frost dates range from October to December. You may want to grow some brassicas and other vegetables over these months, but now is also the time to start thinking about sowing some items for next year.

These will need to be covered, as will any annual garden plants which could potentially be damaged by the cold temperatures. Use a fleece here. Flowering plants need particular care, especially if they can’t be taken into a greenhouse.

Also, think about water and rain. Plants and gardens can easily become waterlogged if the water has nowhere to go. This may require some plastic covering, too. You can buy hoops and plastic sheeting to make your own grow tunnel.


  1. Sort the pond

You want to scoop out leaves and remove them before they sink and rot. Cut back your pond plants and remove fountains and other decorative items to store them during the coldest time of year. Frost and heavy rain could damage them otherwise.


What to avoid doing in the garden in autumn

  1. Autumn fruit pruning

If you’re lucky enough to have the space for fruit trees, avoid pruning them during autumn. Trees and bushes are getting ready to go dormant now but cutting can stimulate new growth. This growth won’t survive though, and your tree could die.

Instead, winter is an ideal time to prune fruit trees. Winter pruning encourages growth in apple and pear trees—wait until the leaves have fallen

Spring and summer are good times to prune stone fruits or trees which are already too big so you don’t want to encourage vigorous growth.


  1. Storing tools without cleaning them

Hiring tools from Speedy Services, such as lawnmowers and hedge trimmers, is a great idea as it means you don’t have to store them. Just give them a quick clean before off hiring them, and we will do the rest.

But for anything you own, such as spades, trowels and pruning devices, you need to give them a really good clean before storing them. Otherwise, they will rust and become unusable. If they’re dirty, clean them. If they’re broken, make a note to hunt for a new one in the winter sales and grab a bargain. If they need sharpening, get them ready for the new year so you can get started ASAP.

Everything you do now will make you very thankful for the past you come spring!




Once your autumn jobs are done, you’ll want to think of winter. Read about how to get your garden ready for winter here.

All of our other gardening tips can also be found on our blog page.

You’ll find all the power tools and hire equipment you need right here, why not start planning your next DIY project today and open a Speedy account online or visit us in-store for all your tool hire needs?


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