Caring for your garden in autumn: How to prepare your soil in time for spring
How tending to your garden soil over the autumn months will ready your garden for planting and see it burst into life this spring.
Q: Why is it important to look after your garden’s soil?
A: Every year fruits, vegetables and other flowers and trees you’ve planted remove nutrients from the soil. You must replenish these if you want good growth in your garden next year. The best time to care for your soil is during the autumn and winter months when everything has died back. Use this time to clear out old crops and weeds. You can then prepare the soil for planting fresh seeds in spring.
Q: What are the best products to use on my soil?
A: I recommend using organic material – it’s non-toxic, less damaging to the environment and will improve the soil structure over time.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your soil, using manure is an option though it can take a little effort to apply as the solution is very thick. Similarly, you could use mushroom compost; this combines rotted animal manure with straw.
You can also use our soil conditioning natural fertiliser or liquid plant food. It’s a 100% natural formula, made entirely from plants meaning it has no weed seeds present and is safe for children, wildlife and pets. It contains micro-nutrients and other essential minerals, vitamins and enzymes that help improve the health of your soil, fight disease and add structure to it allowing it to retain more water. The solid mixture is exceptionally fine and easy to apply. We use the mixture on our own fields to prepare them for next season’s crops.
Q: How do I apply the solid natural fertiliser?
A: You may be used to applying fertiliser by throwing small granules of chemical feed onto the soil, covering your flowerbed or planting area.
When using our soil conditioning natural fertiliser there are different ways you can apply the mixture. Some people use the no-dig method. Add the mulch (our solid soil conditioning natural fertiliser) to the top layer of the soil and leave it. The mixture will gradually soak down into the soil providing a long, slow release of much-needed minerals and nutrients. Other people like to dig down a little and apply the fertiliser in small batches, using a fork to work it into the soil.
Q: How often should I use fertiliser?
A: You can use the liquid fertiliser throughout the year to help protect your plants. We recommend treating your soil as and when it needs it and doing a deep condition annually. Whether you use the liquid plant food or the solid soil condition, it can be used on all areas of the garden – there’s no need to buy one product for your flowers and another for your fruits and vegetables.
Q: What other jobs should be on my garden to-do list this Autumn?
A: Use this time to tidy up the garden and give you a head start for spring. Neaten up your borders by removing dying leaves and collapsed stems to give your plants more room to breathe. Remove weeds and then spread mulch or compost over the soil to help insulate the plant roots.
Make sure to clear any dead plants from your vegetable patch before they begin to rot and become host to pests and diseases.
Collect the autumn leaves that may have gathered in your garden. Adding them all to one pile will create a shelter for hedgehogs and wildlife to use throughout winter. It’s also the ideal time to do some maintenance around your garden – repair damage to any raised beds, sheds and compost bins. Paint them with wood preserve to keep them in tip-top condition. Replace any rotting fence posts so they don’t get blown down in winter storms. These few little jobs will help save you time next year and give you the best chance of growing a gorgeous garden next spring.
For more autumn gardening tips, follow us on Instagram or Facebook @plantgrowuk.
Please look out for our scientific article regarding the soil microbiome explaining further on what soils need.
Call us on 01953 525001 or email email@example.com to speak to a member of the team.