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Gardening Tips & Tricks

Autumn Garden Jobs - Inspiration & Ideas for Your Garden in the UK

Jobs for your garden in the Autumn

As the warm, long days of summer begin to wane, the UK welcomes the magical season of autumn—where the leaves don the shades of russet, amber, and gold, and the air becomes wonderfully crisp. It's a season of transitions and new beginnings, not just for us but for our gardens as well. Autumn's unique palette and cooler temperatures offer the perfect backdrop for garden enthusiasts to roll up their sleeves and dive into seasonal garden jobs. But where do you start? How can you prepare your outdoor haven for the autumnal transition while also setting the stage for a flourishing spring? Worry not, for we have prepared a comprehensive guide filled with inspiration and practical ideas to rejuvenate your garden this fall.

Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a green-thumbed novice, there's something in this guide for everyone. From late-season planting to lawn care, we've got you covered with tips, tricks, and inspiration to help you make the most of this captivating season. So grab your spade, your gloves, and let's venture into the world of autumn garden jobs!

How to Make Your Garden Look Nice in Autumn

Making your garden look nice in autumn is a blend of maintenance, planning, and a touch of creativity. With the change of season, the UK garden landscape takes on an entirely new aura, which you can enhance with the following tips:

  1. Seasonal Colour Palette: Consider incorporating plants that bloom in autumn or have foliage that changes colour, such as Japanese maple, chrysanthemums, or ornamental grasses. The warm reds, yellows, and oranges can provide a vibrant contrast to the cool autumn sky.
  2. Add Lighting: As days get shorter, adding lighting can extend the time you spend in the garden and also add a warm, welcoming feel. Solar lanterns, fairy lights, or even a fire pit can add an inviting atmosphere.
  3. Plant Containers: Autumn is a great time for container gardening. Consider plant pots filled with evergreens, heathers, or autumn-blooming flowers like pansies. You can easily move them around to change the look of your garden or bring them indoors in case of a frost.
  4. Water Features: A small pond or a simple fountain can serve as a focal point. The sound of flowing water adds a tranquil atmosphere, and it can also attract local wildlife.
  5. Tidy Up: A neat garden automatically looks nicer. Clear away fallen leaves regularly and keep the lawn mowed. This also prevents pests and diseases from overwintering in your garden.
  6. Natural Decor: Utilize pumpkins, hay bales, and corn stalks to decorate your garden. They add an autumnal touch and can be composted afterwards.
  7. Wildlife-Friendly: Consider adding bird feeders or a bird bath. Not only does it help the local wildlife prepare for winter, but it also adds an element of life and movement to your garden.
  8. Lawn Care: Keep the lawn in top shape by aerating, feeding with an autumn fertilizer, and dealing with moss and thatch. A well-maintained lawn provides a lush backdrop for your autumn plants.
  9. Garden Furniture: Invest in quality garden furniture that is weather-resistant and easy to clean. Cushions in autumnal tones can make the space more inviting.
  10. Practical Pathways: Ensure that paths and walkways are clear and safe, as autumn weather can make surfaces slippery. Use materials that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, like stone or bark chips.

By focusing on these elements, you can create a garden that not only thrives in autumn but also becomes a beautiful outdoor space to enjoy during the cooler months.


What garden jobs can I do in Autumn in the UK?

Autumn is a transitional season in the garden, a time to wrap up the summer growing season while preparing for winter. It's also a season with its own unique joys and activities. If you're in the UK or a similar climate, here are some gardening activities you might consider:

General Maintenance

  • Leaf Collection: As leaves begin to fall, collect them to make leaf mould or add to your compost heap. This not only keeps the garden tidy but also gives you valuable material for enriching your soil.
  • Divide and Conquer: Divide overgrown perennials and replant the sections to give them more room to grow. This is a great way to propagate new plants for free.
  • Cut Back and Prune: Some plants need pruning in autumn. Check which of your plants would benefit from a trim, such as summer-flowering shrubs and certain types of roses.
  • Weeding: A final weed removal before winter sets in can help minimize the number of weeds you'll face in the spring.

Planting and Sowing

  • Plant Bulbs: Autumn is the ideal time to plant spring-flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, and crocuses. These will give you early blooms next year.
  • Sow Hardy Annuals: Some annuals, like sweet peas and poppies, can be sown in autumn for a head start next year.
  • Plant Trees and Shrubs: The soil is generally still warm enough in autumn for you to plant trees and shrubs, giving them time to establish roots before the harsher winter weather arrives.


  • Harvest and Store: Pick fruits like apples and pears, as well as late-season vegetables like pumpkins and squashes. Store them properly to extend their life.
  • Collect Seeds: Collect seeds from annuals and perennials to sow next year. Make sure to label and store them in a cool, dry place.

Preparing for Winter

  • Lawn Care: Apply an autumn fertilizer to your lawn to prepare it for winter. You can also reseed any bare patches.

  • Insulate Plant Beds: Mulch flower beds with straw, well-rotted compost, or leaf mould to insulate against winter cold and improve soil quality.
  • Protect Tender Plants: Move tender plants indoors or into a greenhouse. For those that must stay outside, wrap them in horticultural fleece for frost protection.

Enjoy and Plan

  • Bird Feeding: As food becomes scarce, set up bird feeders to attract garden birds. This will give you the joy of watching them throughout the winter.
  • Garden Review and Planning: Take photos and make notes on what worked well and what didn’t. This will be invaluable when planning next year's garden.
  • Leisure Activities: Apart from work, take some time to enjoy your garden. Whether it's sitting and enjoying a sunset or taking a leisurely walk to admire the changing colors, your garden is a space for relaxation and enjoyment.

Autumn offers an array of activities that are both productive and enjoyable. So, get your gardening gloves on and make the most of this beautiful season!


What can you grow in your UK garden in Autumn?

Autumn may signal the end of the summer growing season, but in the UK, there are still plenty of opportunities for keen gardeners. Whether you're interested in autumn-harvested vegetables, winter salads, or planting for spring colour, here are some things you can grow in your UK garden in autumn:


  • Winter Lettuce: Varieties like 'Winter Gem' or 'Arctic King' can withstand the UK's colder temperatures and provide fresh leaves throughout the winter.
  • Spinach: Opt for winter-hardy varieties to enjoy a late autumn or early spring harvest.
  • Kale: It's a sturdy leafy green that can withstand the UK's frosty winter weather, offering a continual harvest.
  • Garlic: Autumn is the ideal time to plant garlic cloves for a summer harvest next year.
  • Broad Beans: Sowing in late autumn allows you to get an early crop in the spring before the main season kicks in.
  • Spring Onions: Plant them now, and you'll have a fresh supply in early spring.
  • Swiss Chard: This leafy green can also be planted for a late autumn or winter harvest.
  • Pak Choi: A fast-grower, pak choi can be ready to harvest in as little as 30 days from sowing.
  • Carrots: Plant early varieties for a late autumn harvest. Use cloches or fleece to protect them from frosts.


  • Autumn Raspberries: Varieties like 'Autumn Bliss' can be planted now to bear fruit in the same season.
  • Blackberries: Plant autumn-fruiting varieties for a late-season berry harvest.


  • Spring Bulbs: Now's the time to plant tulips, daffodils, and crocuses for a colourful spring display.
  • Pansies and Violas: These hardy flowers can bloom throughout the autumn and winter if conditions are right.
  • Cyclamen: For winter colour, consider planting hardy cyclamen species like Cyclamen hederifolium.
  • Winter Aconites: Plant these bulbs in autumn to enjoy their yellow blooms in late winter.


  • Parsley: Sown in early autumn, parsley can provide fresh leaves throughout the winter if you protect it from severe frosts.
  • Coriander: For a late autumn or early winter harvest, sow coriander in a sheltered spot.
  • Chives: These can be sown in pots and brought indoors when the weather turns very cold.
  • Thyme and Rosemary: These hardy perennials can be planted in autumn and will offer aromatic leaves year-round.


  • Green Manures: To improve soil fertility, consider sowing green manures like field mustard or crimson clover.

Autumn is a great time to prepare your garden for both the winter and the following spring. With a bit of planning, you can enjoy a variety of home-grown produce and beautiful blooms in the months to come.


What are the Best Plants to Plant in Autumn in the UK?

Planting in the autumn can be highly beneficial for a variety of garden plants in the UK, as the soil is still warm from the summer and there's generally more moisture available than in the hot months. Here are some of the best options to consider:

Trees and Shrubs

  • Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum): A beautiful tree that offers stunning autumn foliage.
  • Dogwood (Cornus): Known for its winter stem colour, autumn is an ideal time for planting.
  • Rhododendron: Plant in the autumn for a spectacular spring bloom.


  • Asters: These vibrant, daisy-like flowers are perfect for autumn colour.
  • Sedum (Stonecrop): Low maintenance and autumn-blooming, sedums are excellent for adding late-season interest.
  • Hellebores: Plant these in the autumn for beautiful winter to early spring blooms.
  • Pulmonaria: Also known as lungwort, pulmonarias offer beautiful foliage and early spring blooms.

Spring Bulbs

  • Tulips: For a colourful spring display, plant tulip bulbs in late autumn.
  • Daffodils: Another spring favourite, best planted in the autumn.
  • Crocuses: Small but impactful, these are easy to plant and offer early spring colour.


  • Garlic: Plant in late autumn for a summer harvest.
  • Broad Beans: Sow in late autumn for an early spring harvest.
  • Onions: Plant onion sets for harvest next year.


  • Parsley: A cold-hardy herb that can be sown in early autumn for winter harvesting.
  • Chives: These can be planted in pots and will provide a continual harvest if brought indoors during the extreme cold.


  • Ornamental Grasses: Miscanthus, pennisetum, and panicum are some of the many grasses you can plant for autumn interest.


  • Berry Bushes: Autumn is a good time to plant currants and gooseberries.
  • Fruit Trees: Apple, pear, and plum trees can also be planted in the autumn when the soil is still warm.


  • Clematis: Many varieties are well-suited to autumn planting.
  • Ivy: Excellent for creating year-round interest and particularly good for wildlife.

Autumn planting gives plants a head start for growth the following spring, helping them to establish a strong root system during the winter months. Just be sure to get them in the ground well before the first hard frost to give them the best chance for success.


Top 10 Autumn Garden Tips

Gardening in the autumn can be a rewarding experience, but it does come with its own set of challenges and opportunities. Whether you're in the UK or another temperate climate, here are 10 tips to help you make the most of your autumn garden:

  1. Plant Spring Bulbs: Autumn is the perfect time to plant spring bulbs like daffodils, tulips, and crocuses. Planting them in the fall gives them enough time to establish roots before the winter sets in, ensuring a beautiful display come springtime.
  2. Tidy Up: Use this time to clean your garden. Remove fallen leaves, dead plant material, and weeds to reduce places where pests and diseases could overwinter. Collect the organic material for composting, but make sure it is disease-free.
  3. Pruning: Late summer-flowering shrubs and some trees may need to be pruned back in the fall. Always check the specific requirements for each plant, as improper pruning can cause problems.
  4. Divide Perennials: Autumn is an excellent time to divide herbaceous perennials. This not only helps to keep plants healthy, but it’s also a great way to multiply your stock.
  5. Harvest and Store: Make sure to harvest fruits and vegetables before the first frost. Store produce correctly to ensure it keeps as long as possible. Dig up tender bulbs like dahlias after the first frost and store them in a dry, frost-free place.
  6. Prepare Soil: If you're planning to plant new items or prepare for next year, take the time to enrich your soil with compost and well-rotted manure. The fall is a great time for soil preparation as you’ll be less busy than in the spring.
  7. Lawn Care: Autumn is a good time to repair any patches, aerate the soil, and apply a top dressing. You can also apply an autumn lawn fertilizer that is high in potassium and low in nitrogen to prepare the lawn for winter.
  8. Collect Rainwater: The UK is known for its rainy autumns. Install water butts (rain barrels in American English) to collect rainwater for use in the garden, thereby saving water.
  9. Protection for Tender Plants: Bring tender plants indoors or into a greenhouse before the first frost. For those that must stay outside, use horticultural fleece or mulch for protection against the cold.
  10. Plan for Next Year: Autumn is a good time to take stock of what worked and what didn't in your garden. Make notes or even sketches, and use this information for planning your garden for the next year.

Remember to adjust these tips based on your local climate and conditions, but these general guidelines should be a good starting point for autumn gardening in the UK.


10 Money Saving Ideas for Autumn

  1. Collect and Store Seeds: Save a few quid by harvesting seeds from your favourite flowers and vegetables. Keep them in a cool, dry place to plant next spring.
  2. Make Your Own Compost: Use fallen leaves, kitchen scraps, and garden waste to create your own compost heap using a composter. By next year, you'll have rich, free compost, eliminating the need to buy bags of it. 
  3. Divide Perennials: If your perennial plants are getting a bit crowded, autumn is the ideal time to divide them. You could even swap the extra plants with mates or neighbours, saving everyone some money.
  4. Upcycle Garden Gear: Before splashing out on new garden furniture or tools, consider giving your old stuff a new lease of life with a lick of paint or some minor repairs.
  5. Harvest and Store: Pick late-summer and autumn veggies and fruits to freeze or make into preserves. This will save you a packet on your grocery bills in the winter months.
  6. Use Autumn Leaves as Mulch: Don't fork out for expensive mulch; use your fallen leaves instead. They'll break down over the winter, improving your soil for free.
  7. DIY Pest Control: Forget pricey pesticides; use home remedies like a soap and water spray to fend off garden pests.
  8. Plant Spring Bulbs: Spring bulbs are generally cheaper than fully-grown plants and provide brilliant value for money. Plant them in autumn for a lovely display next year.
  9. Install a Water Butt: Collect rainwater to use in the garden with a water butt is the perfect eco-friendly task. It's better for the plants and will save you money on your water bill.
  10. Community Swap: Organise a local plant or tool swap. It’s a great way to get your hands on new garden items without spending any dosh.

There you have it! By using some or all of these tips, you can keep your garden looking tip-top without breaking the bank this Autumn.


What can I put in pots in Autumn in the UK?

In the UK, autumn can bring a mix of weather conditions, but it also provides an opportunity to refresh your potted plants with varieties that thrive in cooler temperatures and shorter days. Here are some suggestions for what you can put in pots in autumn in the UK:


  • Pansies and Violas: These hardy little plants can offer vibrant colours through autumn and even into winter.
  • Cyclamen: Suited for cooler weather, cyclamen brings colour to your pots from autumn through to spring.
  • Chrysanthemums: Known for their autumnal tones, these are ideal for providing a burst of colour in colder months.
  • Heathers: These small evergreen shrubs bring texture and colour, particularly varieties with autumn-blooming flowers.
  • Autumn Crocus: Unlike their spring counterparts, these crocuses bloom in the autumn, offering pops of purple and lilac.

Foliage and Texture

  • Ornamental Cabbages and Kales: These offer a unique texture and interesting colours, ranging from deep greens to purples.
  • Ivy: This hardy plant can serve as a trailing element in your autumn pots and offers evergreen foliage.
  • Grasses: Plants like Carex or Pennisetum offer interesting texture and movement, holding their form well into the winter.
  • Heuchera: Known for their attractive, evergreen or semi-evergreen foliage, Heucheras come in a variety of colours from deep burgundy to lime green.


  • Herbs: Many herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage can cope well with cooler temperatures and offer you fresh flavour throughout the season.
  • Winter Salad Leaves: Varieties like winter lettuce, rocket, and land cress can be harvested throughout autumn and even into winter if conditions are mild.


  • Box or Buxus: A classic evergreen suitable for pots, which can also be trimmed into topiary shapes for added interest.
  • Skimmia: Known for its attractive berries and evergreen leaves, this is a good option for autumn and winter interest.
  • Dwarf Conifers: Small varieties can be kept in pots and provide year-round greenery.

Remember to consider your local climate and individual garden conditions when choosing plants. You may also want to use a high-quality compost and consider adding a layer of mulch on top of the soil in each pot to help retain moisture and insulate plant roots as temperatures drop.

Autumn is a season of transformation, and with a little creativity, your garden can become a serene sanctuary or a hub of activity. From autumn plants to clever patio ideas, we offer a variety of products to make your autumn gardening dreams come true. Dig in!


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