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When autumn weather wreaks havoc, with swirling leaves and rain-sodden ground, it’s a challenge to know where to start to get your outdoor space neat and tidy after summer. From protecting delicate plants to safeguarding valuable machinery and furniture, we have some tips to help.
Tidy the Beds and Borders
Summer flowering is mostly done, the grass has slowed down considerably, and it’s time to prepare for the winter months.
Jobs to do before autumn sets in properly include:
- Mow the lawn. The grass is still growing during early autumn and quickly becomes harder to cut if you let it get long in wet weather.
- Tidy the veg garden. Harvest any leftover crops (except those that can stay in the ground over winter) and give the beds a good weeding. Pick up the fallen fruit from around trees.
- Lift up delicate plants that won’t withstand freezing temperatures, such as dahlias.
- Plant bulbs ready for next spring flowering.
- Tidy up ponds, removing fallen leaves. If leaves are an ongoing problem, you could get a pond net to catch them.
- Stock up on bird food. They’ll need it during winter.
Clean Hand Tools and Smaller Power Tools
Garden tools like forks and spades aren’t exactly cheap to buy, but they’re relatively easy to keep in good condition. Knock all the loose soil or mud off them, then brush them down to remove any residue.
When you’re sure you won’t need the mower again, clean all the grass out of collection boxes and from around the wheels, then give the blades and other moving parts a wipe-down with oil to discourage rust. Any tools with moving parts, such as hedge trimmers or strimmers need the same attention. Don’t forget tools with joints that could seize up in damp weather, such as loppers and your secateurs.
Storing tools is easy if you have a dry, pest-proofed shed. Hang them on nails or hooks fixed into the walls to get them off the floor. This will not only help to keep them dry, it’ll leave you with more floor space for other things.
Store Garden Furnishings and Machines
Keeping what you have in good condition saves money compared to buying new equipment or garden furniture every year.
Instead of leaving garden furnishings and children’s playthings outside all winter, you can extend their life through a few simple precautions.
Clean all the dirt and dust off everything that’s been outside during the summer, especially wood, rattan or willow furnishings. You can wash them down with warm soapy water then rinse them clean with the hosepipe. Do the same with plastic furniture so it’s spotless before you put it into store over winter.
At the very least, invest in waterproof covers for furniture you’ll leave outside, although a better option is to get everything indoors. If you have a large garage that might be an option, or you could investigate self storage facilities. They’re usually handy to get to, and you can rent just about any size space you need, from lockers upwards. When you’ve spent good money on expensive garden furnishings, it’s the best way to protect your investment and keep it looking good for longer.
Self storage units are also a fine option for children’s outdoor play items, from climbing frames to trampolines that can quickly discolour or rust if they’re left outdoors in all weathers. Give them the same cleaning treatment as furniture, and you won’t have to bother with that particular chore when spring rolls round again.
An organised autumn and winter garden brings its own joys, from bird watching to snowball games with the family. And it’s so much more enjoyable if your view and space isn’t cluttered with items you won’t use again for several months.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored guest post