1. CLEAN PAVING: – to avoid dangerous slippy surfaces. Green algae will accumulate on any surface which doesn’t get much light. This is a great job for a lovely bright dry day. Avoid doing this on a windy day as the drift from the spray may kill plants and grass. Brush off any leaves or debris from the area. In your garden sprayer, mix 50:50 Sodium hypochlorite and water and spray it on. No need to wash off – just leave it to dry. You will notice the difference in a few days. If it was really green, you may need to do it again in a few weeks, but generally, once the area is clean you should only need to do this once or twice a year to keep it clean.
2. LEAVE THE HEDGES ALONE PLEASE!!! Think of the birds and wildlife. They need shelter for the winter and will eat the berries and take ivy nectar and pollen. There is really no perfect time of year to cut hedges. If you really must do it at some time, trim the front this year, the back next year and the top the year after. Think of all the free time you’ll have! And think of all the happy birds with a feast that you created for them this winter.
3. CLEAR OUT THE GREENHOUSE: After the tomatoes and courgettes have finished producing, it’s a good idea to clear out the old plants to avoid disease build up. If your soil is a few years old it may have been depleted of nutrients so you might want to dig it out and replace it with fresh soil for next year.
4. CLEAN GREENHOUSE GLASS: If you want a great job for a wet day when you still want to be outside, this is it. Get a bucket of hot water with washing up liquid and give all the glass a good clean, then rinse with the hosepipe. You’ll be amazed at the difference.
5. ANY TENDER PLANTS NEEDING FROST PROTECTION: Put them in the greenhouse or frost free garage. Or make your life easier by only having hardy plants in your garden!
6. BRUSH AUTUMN LEAVES OFF PATHS & DRIVEWAYS: To avoid slipping hazards, clear leaves as they accumulate in corners. Put them on your compost heap for great soil conditioner.
7. MOW LEAVES OFF LAWN: If you leave them alone they will eventually blow into the hedges and become brilliant leaf mould and also provide good hibernation for wildlife, but if you can’t wait, get your lawnmower with the grass box on. Choose a good dry day and mow the leaves on a high setting. Put the clippings and leaves on the compost heap. The heat from the grass will make the leaves break down quicker and you will have lovely soil conditioner next year.
8. HAVE A WALK AROUND YOUR GARDEN: Have you got good autumn & winter interest? If not, make notes, take photos and plan a new planting layout for the spring. Notes and photos are essential because by next spring you will have forgotten !!!
9. VISIT PUBLIC GARDENS: This is the best time to get inspiration for year round interest in your own garden. Spring and summer interest is easy. Winter interest is a challenge. Don’t forget to take photos and notes. You will see that it doesn’t have to be flowers for interest – good autumn leaf colour, berries and structure are essential for this time of year.
10. WOULD YOU LIKE A NEW GARDEN LAYOUT? Now is the perfect time to start the garden design process. You could have a garden design drawn up with a planting scheme and a quote to do the work. New paving and any other hard landscaping could be done over the winter and the planting could be done in the spring. This would mean that you will have your perfect garden ready to enjoy from next spring!
For garden design advice, why not give us a call on 07754091772 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Vanessa Drew is a highly experienced garden designer based near Rathfriland, Co Down. Vanessa is also a part-time farmer, animal lover and owner of Ballyroney Cottage farmstay B&B. She enjoys hiking, mindfulness and is a wildlife and conservation enthusiast. In her blogs, she shares her passion for horticulture, animals and country lifestyle.