Autumn is the ideal time to give your garden a thorough tidy, before the cold weather sets in.
As well as clearing fallen leaves, there are lots of other simple tasks that will make a big difference to the look of your garden.
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It's worth putting in a little extra time and effort now, so your garden will look neat and well-tended through the winter months - it will also mean that you've got a head start next spring.
Tidy your borders
Remove dying leaves and collapsed stems from herbaceous perennials, either pulling by hand or cutting at the base with secateurs. Leave any stems that have attractive seedheads for birds to enjoy. Remove weeds, then spread compost or well rotted manure over the soil to insulate plant roots - the worms will work it in over winter.
Clear away old crops
Clear spent plants on the veg plot before they start to rot and become host to pests and diseases. Compost everything unless it’s diseased. Chop beans and peas off at ground level, leaving their nitrogen-fixing roots in the soil to feed next year’s crops. You could also sow a green manure, a great soil improver.
Leave your lawn looking trim
Nothing sets off borders better that a neatly cut and edged lawn, so mow for the final time. Set your mower blades higher than usual to leave the grass slightly longer over winter, then cut the edges with an edging tool or knife to redefine their pristine lines.
Put away plant supports
Cut down annual climbers in borders and climbing beans in veg plots and remove the dead stems and foliage from their supports. With canes and other removable wooden supports, wash off any soil then treat them with preservative. Store them indoors over winter.