To ensure that your grounds look at their best during the autumn here are six top tips.
1. Do cut the grass if it continues growing. Mowing a little and as often as required will keep it looking neat, will help remove leaves and increase air flow within the grass sward reducing the risk of disease such as fusarium.
2. Pick up leaves regularly particularly over grassed areas. Obviously this will improve appearance of grassed areas helping it to maintain a lush green colour.
However leaves could be left within shrub borders in many areas and could be considered as free mulch providing a degree of weed suppression, a habitat for wildlife and reduce the amount of green-waste.
3. Apply an autumn dressing of fertilizer to lawn areas. Its higher levels of potash and phosphate and lower nitrogen level will help strengthen the grass against disease.
4. Make sure that borders are weed free at the onset of colder weather. Unless we have a particularly mild winter the borders should remain tidy and weed free without much input apart from the occasional light hoeing.
5. While there may not be too much pruning of shrubs to carry out during the autumn months do trim shrubs that have become straggly especially when they are overgrowing paths.
However don’t overdo it as it will be several months before plants begin to re-grow. Remove dead herbaceous foliage to smarten borders.
6. If possible do leave an area of debris as a cover for wildlife. This may tie in with item 2. There has been much talk recently about the alarming decline in the hedgehog population. There are many reasons for this one of which is that in tidying our grounds and gardens we are denying them a suitable winter habitat. So leaves, twigs and other garden debris left on site could provide winter lodgings for ‘Mrs Tiggywinkle’!
Nigel Jeffries Landscapes provides specialist commercial grounds maintenance to schools, local authorities and commercial properties in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex. If you would like to find out more, please do get in touch.