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As we say goodbye to the summer it is time to spend some time caring for the gardens that we have enjoyed over the last few months. Spending time now on garden maintenance will mean that we will have better gardens to enjoy in the Spring and this is the ideal time to get on with those time-consuming garden jobs to prepare the garden for the winter weather. Here are some of the things that you can do as the weather turns and the leaves start to fall…

Tidy Up – Autumn is a time to tidy up outdoors. The falling leaves can make the ground slippery and dangerous so it is important to clear these up regularly and add them to your compost bin, where they will provide nutrients for your future plants. They also rot on the lawn and attract snails and slugs. If you don’t have a compost bin you could put piles of leaves away from your plants in a quiet part of the garden where they will provide the perfect protection for hibernating hedgehogs. If you have a greenhouse spend some time tidying up in there and move any plants in that need to spend the winter under its protective covering. If you have garden furniture outdoors it is also now a good time to bring it inside to a shed if possible, to store over the winter, or you could get a protective weatherproof cover for it.

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Build and Repair – Before the worst of the weather gets here it is a good idea to make any repairs that you need – fences and gutters are particular things that you should look out for as they can be further damaged by strong winds and heavy rain. If you have idea of construction projects – whether a garden room or a new shed, now is a great time to get on with it. Get supplies from somewhere like this timber merchants Southampton www.timbco.co.uk/ if you want to build it yourself, this will work out cheaper to do it this way.

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Prepare for Spring – Now is the time to make preparations to the garden ready for the spring. Tidy up the borders and flowerbeds by removing dead plants and cutting back anything that is old or overgrown. Keep an eye out for weeds and pull them up when you see them as they could cause problems for your resident plants!

Once this is done you can fertilise the ground by adding mulch to the soil. This adds more nutrients to the soils and mulching the top layer of the soil is also a good way to deter slugs and snails. At this time of year, you can also start planting bulbs that will come up in the spring – there are many that can be planted in the autumn – anemones, daffodils, snowdrops, crocus and bluebells are just a few. Tulips are also popular, but these are best planted in November or December.

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