Updated: Jul 31, 2020
Autumn Clean Up : October to December
Fallen leaves should be regularly cleared as they can smother and kill the grass if left on your lawn. Piles of leaves allow slugs and snails to overwinter, so clearing them will help next season. (Please see our article on "The Importance of Keeping Leaves off the Grass" for more information.)
Pruning is a vital part of an autumn garden clean-up and maintenance. Any dead, diseased or out-of-control branches should be pruned from trees and shrubs as well as climbers. Cut off any dead branches infested with insects or disease, and cut back perennial growth to just a few inches above the ground. Throughout the winter, leave the stems above ground to protect the crown. The crown is the part of the plant at ground level where the stem meets the roots. Check climbers and their attachment to their supports.
Pick up any plant parts you cut back and any other plant debris that has died and fallen off. Remove any weeds and other garden debris as well and dispose of it. Leaving this organic matter in your garden could bring disease, insects and rodent infestation, as they are all attracted to decaying vegetation.
Perform a light pruning of woody ornamentals to remove dead or dying branches.
Sweep, rake or blow:
- all lawn areas
- all planting beds and borders
- all hard standing, driveway terrace areas and paths
to remove leaves and other debris, and dispose of arisings.
Fork over all planting beds and borders. Now is also the time to take dahlias etc. out of the ground – they keep a lot of moisture in them and a cold winter can freeze the water and kill them.
Fertilize spring bulbs this will help there flowering and growth next season.
Trim lawn edges to borders, paths, terraces, driveways and hard standings.
Finally, collect together all the arising and dispose of them.