Getting your garden ready for winter

Unfortunately, summer is now in the dim and distant past and we are hurtling our way towards the winter months. Most of our gardens are looking decidedly shabby at this time of year as the bedding and patio plants are now past their best and the leaves are falling from trees and bushes so what should we be doing in our gardens now in preparation for winter?

Firstly, it is a good idea to concentrate on generally tidying up. Pots and hanging baskets can be tidied by getting rid of faded and dying plants and shrubs and trees can be pruned back ready for new growth in the spring. Leaves should ideally be swept up and disposed of either by burning or by taking to a recycling centre. It is not a good idea to put large quantities of leaves on a compost heap as the leaves no not generally make good compost.

It is an ideal time to look at any lawned areas in the garden an assess whether they need any attention. Lawns benefit from aeration at this time of the year to increase drainage and get more air to the roots. This can be done simply by the use of a garden fork or an aerator. If possible. sand or horticultural grit can be brushed into the holes to further improve aeration. A good quality autumn lawn feed will help to kill moss on the lawn but always rake out the moss once it has turned black allowing new grass to grow in spring.