Now is the perfect time to give your garden a tidy-up before the colder weather sets in. As well as clearing fallen leaves there are lots of other tasks that can help prepare your garden to survive the winter and blossom in the spring.
1.Collect autumn leaves
Remove fallen autumn leaves from borders and beds as these can sometimes suffocate and kill your plants with leaf mould. Use a leaf rake to sweep leaves from your lawn but rake by hand in your borders to avoid damaging delicate flowers. If your garden is a bit bigger in size, try using a leaf blower or garden vac to help speed things up!
2.Tidy beds and borders
Remove leaves and broken stems of herbaceous perennials by cutting at the base with a pair of sharp secateurs. If your stems have seed heads then leave these for the birds to enjoy. Remove the last surviving weeds and then add compost or bark mulch to help insulate plant roots.
3.Look after your lawn
When mowing your lawn for the last time, raise your blades higher than usual to leave the grass slightly longer over winter. Tidy up edges with a half-moon tool.
4.Protect your plants
Raise outdoor planters onto pot feet or bricks to avoid water logging in the wetter months. To protect plants from winds and frost, insulate pots with winter jackets – garden fleece or bubble wrap works well. Remember to continue watering, although it may be raining more it does not mean that your plants are getting the water they need.
Fallen leaves and increased rain can cause decking to become slippery. Use a pressure washer or a hose and broom to keep the surface clean (and safe!)
Now is a good time to clean out any bird boxes and feeders you may have in your garden. Bird boxes can carry disease so cleaning them out will provide a clean home for the next family that moves in! Continue to feed birds and keep baths topped up for your regular visitors.
If you have a compost heap, now is the perfect time to stock it up with grass cuttings, leaves and finished crops. Ideally shred the leaves to reduce their space and increase the speed of decomposition. By summertime you will have free, nutritious fertiliser that hasn’t cost you a penny.
Whilst clearing up your borders have a think about what bulbs you’d like to plant ready for spring. Daffodils, tulips and crocuses should be planted early autumn ready for spring flowering.