The Ultimate Garden Checklist for Autumn

By Orla McGoldrick
3 min read

After a summer of activity and growth, now’s the time to give your garden some TLC to help it through the colder months. Here at Tobermore, we’ve written a checklist to help ensure your Autumn garden is in tip top shape.

1. Rake up moss

Rake up any moss or dead grass that has established in the lawn over the summer. Some moss killer from your local garden centre can help if there’s a lot to deal with. After raking, put down an autumn lawn feed to help your lawn’s roots stay healthy during the chilly winter months.

2. Protect sensitive plants

Young shrubs, spring-blooming trees and tender perennials such as dahlias are all frost-sensitive. You can protect them by covering them with bubble wrap, which helps to keep the plant insulated.

Remove the bubble wrap on warmer days so they plants don’t sweat. A preventative measure can be planting your blooms in protective places – by a wall or bench, for example.

3. Wash out plant pots

No one wants to do it, but it must be done! Dirty pots harbour garden pests and bacteria that can do a lot of damage to your garden.

Dilute some bleach with water in a large container and use a stiff brush to remove dried soil from your pots. Make sure you dry them thoroughly afterwards to prevent mould build-up.

4. Give your lawn a feed

You may think that once you’ve raked up the moss and leaves from your lawn, you can leave it to sit until spring returns. But you’d be wrong. Even when turf goes dormant over winter, it still needs some TLC to keep it going until the next growth spurt in spring.

Aerating your lawn is one of the first things you can do to help improve airflow and drainage in the soil. For a smaller lawn, you can simply use a garden fork, pushing it into the turf at intervals. Fertilising your lawn, clearing snow soon after it settles and removing debris throughout winter all help keep your lawn healthy.

5. Do seasonal pruning

Perennials will benefit from a good cutting back, as will other plants that don’t like being pruned in the winter. Be sure to prune plants before the weather starts to turn. Cut shrubs down to a quarter of their original size. Trim any crowded stems to give the plant better air circulation.

6. Do seasonal planting

Below are five blooms you’ll want to plant to bring some colour into your autumnal garden:


Sempervivums are very tough succulent plants which thrive in all types of weather. These beautiful Alpine plants can bring lots of colour to your garden in the colder months. They’re also great for adding texture to pots, rockeries and any garden nook and cranny you want to put them in.

Virginia Creeper

This incredibly popular creeper gives a fantastic autumn display of colour, turning a deep, vibrant red from its summer green. It grows vigorously and will conquer any space, swallowing up other plants in the process. It needs regular pruning and management, so isn’t ideal for gardeners who want a low-maintenance life!

Beauty Berry

With small pink flowers in summer, this delicious shrub is best known for its stunning violet berries that appear in autumn. They remain on the plant even when the leaves have dropped and bring beautiful, much-needed pops of colour to your garden.


Asters typically flower in late summer or early autumn, so they’re perfect for bringing splashes of colour to your outdoor space when things start looking a little bare. Be sure to plant them in an airy spot with plenty of sun to get the best display of colour. Cut them back hard when flowering is finished.


Just like Beauty Berry, Cotoneaster produces lovely punchy red berries in autumn time. Some are evergreen and can be tall and tree-like right through to low growing types that help to stop weeds.

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Orla McGoldrick

Orla is the Consumer Marketing Manager at Tobermore. Her role involves developing and delivering marketing campaigns for the retail market across NI/ROI and GB.

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