This is a commissioned post in collaboration with Gardena
I do love the slower pace of autumn in the garden. There’s less weeding and watering to do, which gives me a chance to potter about, tidy up and make plans for new projects. We’ve had a lot of rain so far this season, but also some gloriously sunny days – it’s hard to beat autumn sunshine isn’t it?
I’ve been working with leading watering and garden tool brand Gardena throughout this year, using their products to help take care of the garden and make the most of our outdoor space. This month, I’ve been using Gardena products to tackle the autumn garden maintenance jobs on my list.
Autumn lawn care
Lawns are often in need of some attention after the dry conditions and heavy footfall of summer. We had new turf laid this year, and while it’s still looking pretty good, we’re starting to see a build-up of thatch, which is dead grass that collects at the roots. A bit of time spent dealing with this now will get the lawn in tip-top condition for next year, and save us having to deal with a bigger problem when spring arrives.
Thatch can really inhibit new grass shoots growing, and also prevent absorption of moisture and nutrients, so it’s important to stay on top of it if you want to avoid a patchy lawn. The traditional way to do this is to use a rake, and while this will do the job, it’s quite hard work! I’ve been using the Vertical Cutter from Gardena’s combisystem range to take the strain out of the job.
Gardena’s combisystem is a clever interchangeable tool system, with a universal handle to which you attach the relevant tool head. I’ve been using combisystem for a few months now and I love it: the components are really good quality, it’s so quick and easy to change the attachments, and it takes up much less space in our shed.
The Vertical Cutter is designed to remove moss and thatch from your lawn, without the need for high-energy raking. The tines are made of high-grade stainless steel, and they penetrate grass by just the right amount to effectively remove moss and thatch without damaging the lawn.
Like all combisystem tool heads, attaching to the handle is a simple job: you just pop the attachment into the end and tighten the dial for a really secure fit.
Using the Vertical Cutter was so easy too; nothing like the usual workout you get from raking the lawn! The wheels are really robust, it’s easy to push it along, and those metal tines do a very thorough job.
The next lawn job to tackle was one I’ve been neglecting a bit this year: edge trimming. We’ve laid a brick edge around our new lawn, and while this has made mowing to the edge of the grass much easier, it has also allowed me to be lazy with keeping the edges neat. There’s also an exposed edge next to our new patio that hasn’t been finished off yet, and the grass has got really untidy here. So, when it comes to edge trimming, we’ve got horizontal and vertical angles to deal with – making Gardena’s Long-Handled Grass Shears the perfect tool for the job.
The Long-Handled Grass Shears allow you to cut lawn edges from an upright position. They have an adjustable angled handle, so you can adapt them to your height and the type of task you’re performing.
The handle is comfortable to hold, and you don’t need excessive pressure to operate the blades. The blades have a non-stick coating which really helps to prevent them getting clogged up with grass clippings. There’s a safety lock on the handle too.
For me, the real game-changer with this tool is the fact that you can rotate the cutting blades through 90° to the right or left, which means you can get the right angle you need every time. That, combined with the fact that the tool is on wheels, has made lawn edge trimming so much quicker, and delivered a really neat result. I love the fact that you can get a really precision cut without spending ages on a back-breaking job too!
After a bit of tlc, our lawn is looking really good – and it’s great to know that we’ve also improved it’s ability to absorb water, air and nutrients. All that’s left to do now is apply some autumn lawn food and let the grass have a rest over the winter months.
Planting spring bulbs
The next garden maintenance job on my list was to plant some spring flowering bulbs.
Spring bulbs are brilliant for creating a colourful display in early spring, when your other plants aren’t quite ready to put on a show. We re-shaped all our garden borders earlier this year, and before I put in any new plants it’s the ideal time to plant spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, iris, hyacinths and crocus. I’ve gone for some pretty pink tulips.
You can plant bulbs using a trowel to dig your holes, but if you’re planting a lot of bulbs this method can quickly get rather tedious! I’ve been using Gardena’s Bulb Planter, which quickly and easily creates the perfect hole for planting your bulbs..
To use the Bulb Planter, you simply push it into the soil, give it a little twist, and pull it out again. This will remove a clump of soil, creating a hole for you to pop your bulb into. Once you’ve done this, you squeeze the handle on the bulb planter to release the soil and fill the hole back in. Clever isn’t it!
I’ve used a few different bulb planters over the years, and this one is definitely the most robust and comfortable to use in my opinion. I love the clear measurements on the side too, they make it really easy to create holes that are the right depth for your bulbs.
Creating a winter container display
My final garden maintenance job was to create a container display for autumn and winter.
We don’t tend to think of autumn and winter as a time for container plants, but in a lot of ways this is actually the time of year that they’re perfect for. A container display is a great low-cost way to perk up an otherwise drab garden or patio during the colder months, and you can also position it where it’s easy to see from indoors.
I used the Hand Trowel from Gardena’s combisystem range to fill my container with compost. This works like a normal hand trowel, but you can also attach the head to your combisystem handle and use it at distance. This configuration is perfect for when you need to reach the back of a border, or for light digging.
I like to include some spring bulbs underneath my bedding plants, to give the display a nice boost in early spring. You can even layer up different types of bulb to extend the flowering period – my post on planting a bulb lasagne has more details on how to do this.
Once the bulbs were in, it was time to add the plants. I used heather, cyclamen, viola and ornamental kale for colour, and variegated ivy to provide foliage interest.
Here’s the finished container: an instant display of colour to cheer up darker days.
As you can see, I’ve been quite busy in the garden this month! But it has all been at a nice leisurely pace, which I’ve really enjoyed. And using Gardena products has made tackling my autumn garden maintenance jobs really easy and quick. Now I can turn my attention to planning next year’s garden 🙂
Gardena products are available online and at your local garden centre, you can check out the full range here. And if you’d like to find out more about the other Gardena products I’ve used this year, check out my posts on creating a great little herb garden using their NatureUp! vertical gardening system, using their combisystem tool range, and installing their automatic watering system.
Could Gardena help you tackle your autumn garden maintenance?
Pin this for later:
I was supplied with a Combisystem Vertical Cutter, Long-Handled Grass Shears, Bulb Planter and Combisystem Hand Trowel for this post. All comments and opinions are honest and genuine.