Nights are becoming colder and days shorter as our summer visitors prepare to migrate back to sunnier climates. Resident birds become quieter, quitting their fighting over territories.
Plants and flowers
Traditionally this is the time when gardeners start to clear up their gardens, getting rid of dead and old plants and weeds, however if you want to keep on encouraging wildlife you could try leaving seedheads, especially on plants such as teasels and sunflowers and allow vegetation to die back naturally. This helps to provide food and shelter for small animals and birds throughout the coldest months.
September is also a good time for planning and creating garden borders and at the end of this month you can start to plant herbaceous perennials, and also give late flowering meadows a final cut.
Autumn is the ideal time to sow wildflower seeds, so if you’ve been thinking about creating a new wildflower meadow area, now is the ideal time to start planning it. Clear out an area and remove weeds and debris, as wildflowers flourish in infertile soil. To learn more about creating a wildflower meadow, check out our article and video
Don’t forget to keep bird feeders and baths topped up and clean, the breeding season is not quite completely over so birds still need that extra food. Find out more about feeding the birds in our video.
Now is also a good time to get cracking with making or buying a hedgehog home. Keep on putting out plenty of food so that our prickly friends can fatten up ready for hibernation. Meaty dog food always goes down well, and be sure to keep putting out fresh water for hedgehogs as well as other garden visitors. For more tips on ways to help hedgehogs in your garden, check out our video here.
If you have the room, you could make or buy compost bins or create a compost heap in anticipation of fallen Autumn leaves. Add a mixture of leaves, prunings, grass clippings and kitchen waste and you’ll not only be reducing your waste, but making your own soil improver too. If you’re lucky, you may even find that slow worms and other creatures take up residence in your compost heap, so be careful when turning or moving it.